By Dianne Craft, MA, CNHP
We all enjoy music though most of us have considered it to be for recreation and relaxation. We have all sensed the power that music possesses that affects our mood but most of us have not considered the possibility that it can actually affect our learning ability nor have we been aware of its ability to open neuropathways in our brain.
There is a tremendous amount of noise pollution (hair blowers, lawn mowers, traffic, dishwashers, etc.) bombarding our children’s auditory and nervous systems daily. One of the ways we can combat this more destructive noise is to first realize that loud noises are perceived as stressors to the nervous system. We can go a long way in combating this daily assault by simply putting on soft background music throughout the day to help balance both their nervous system and auditory system. There is even specific music designed to help children concentrate with background noise. In classrooms where teachers are aware of this connection and regularly play specially prepared classical music softly in the background during seatwork, children are found to be able to concentrate much better and be more accurate in their work.
- Be aware of daily noise pollution in your home. Keep the mechanical noise to a minimum whenever possible. Play classical music softly in the background to reduce the effects of the extraneous noise and enhance learning. Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi are some composers that help with this process.
- To enhance listening ability further or to help a child struggling with auditory processing, attention, reading issues, etc., use a listening program of specially-treated music, employing headphones, and a regular schedule designed to gradually re-train the brain to process sound more efficiently.
As a special education teacher and a health professional, I am very aware of the importance of excellent nutrition for maximizing learning ability and reducing the effects of learning disabilities. Knowing that sound is another important nutrient and utilizing it through classical music to train the brain to process sounds more efficiently gives us another avenue to use to help our children. Sound affects us either negatively or positively: we can choose our children’s sound environment every day. We can even choose to use music in specific ways to restore auditory processing and other abilities that have been lost.
The neuroplasticity of the brain is quite amazing. Each decade new methods are being discovered that help heal and retrain the brain to function the way God intended it to function.
There are several programs available that are very helpful to many children:
The Listening Program.
This is a home-based therapeutic listening program that produces good results. More information: www.advancedbrain.com.
Auditory Integration Therapy (AIT).
This therapeutic listening program requires administration by a speech therapist in your area, but it produces very good results. More information: www.ait.com.
Sonomas Listening Program.
This therapeutic listening program requires administration by a professional in your area, but produces very good results. More information: www.sonomaslisteningtherapy.com.
The information in this article should not be construed as a diagnosis or medical advice. Please consult your physician for any medical condition and before adding supplements or changing a child’s diet.
Dianne Craft has a Master’s Degree in special education and is a Certified Natural Health Professional. She has a private consultation practice, Child Diagnostics, Inc., in Littleton, Colorado.