Brain Development

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Staying Focused

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Studies have shown that diligent instrument training from an early age can help the brain remain focused when absorbing other subjects, from literature to tensor calculus.

Scientific American, 2010

Last week, I walked into a kindergarten classroom just as a fight erupted. All the children are dealing with trauma – it is a program for homeless children – and many of the things we count on to stabilize life for young children just aren't present for many of these kids. Fuses are short. I sat down in the circle, where two flailing children were being separated by a teacher and the dozen others were sitting wide-eyed in fear, and I started a chant: "Wave hello. . . watch your fingers go!" The rhythm and the integrative movements almost immediately changed the emotional atmosphere. Within 30 seconds, the children who had been fighting were hooked in, watching. A couple of minutes later, everything was calm. It was as if nothing had ever happened.

Music is important because it clears my mind whenever I'm mad or sad or whatever. Music can really calm you down. It can also help your concentration. Like when you're writing an essay, it can help you focus on your specific essay/homework. And, without music, there would be nothing to calm you down, keep you focused. We need music!

I've been in choir since 5th grade and am now a senior in the choir and ensemble at my school. Reading music helped me concentrate and focus. It was actually hard at first. I became myself through the vocal program here because it gave me a niche and place to belong. I gained so much confidence, friends/family, and memories here.