MUSIC The physiological and psychological connection to the brain
Music and your brain • Music connects to the part of your brain that controls memories. Scientific studies have proven that the parts of brain dealing with memory “light up” when music connected with memories is played. • "What seems to happen is that a piece of familiar music serves as a soundtrack for a mental movie that starts playing in our head." said PetrJanata, a cognitive neuroscientist at University of California, Davis. "It calls back memories of a particular person or place, and you might all of a sudden see that person's face in your mind's eye."
Music and your brain • This latest research could explain why even Alzheimer's patients who endure increasing memory loss can still recall songs from their distant past. • "What's striking is that the prefrontal cortex is among the last brain regions to atrophy," Janata noted. He pointed to behavioral observations of Alzheimer's patients singing along or brightening up when familiar songs came on. • Study with childhood music
Alive Inside • One • Two • Explores the connection between music and memory in nursing home patients
Try it out… • High school students range between the ages of 14 to 18 • In the year 2007, most of you were 9-13. These are some of the most important memory making years. • I will play twenty songs randomly selected from the tops chart for 2007. If any of them conjure a memory, write about it. • 12345678910 • 11121314151617181920
Music and your brain • Researchers have proven that the brain can help you refocus while you study. While listening to classical music, the brain adapts and anticipates to refocus to changing rhythms, pitches, or movements. • They found that during moments of silence or change, the brain reacted and became more active. • This is helpful for students who are studying by keeping their brain from wandering, without distracting them.
Music and your brain • Musicians score higher on math and tests involving comprehension (foreign languages, English) • Performing music involves the synthesis of many different equally important tasks all at once • Reading music is akin to reading a foreign language • Musicians also improve on their dexterity, athleticism, cognitive abilities, teamwork, confidence, comprehension, math, creativity, history, and much more
Music and your body • Music does many things for the human body including: masking unpleasant sounds and feelings, slowing down and equalizing brain waves, affecting respiration, affecting the heartbeat, pulse rate, and blood pressure, reducing muscle tension and improving body movement and coordination, affecting the body temperature, regulating stress-related hormones, boosting the immune function, changing our perception of space and time, strengthening our memory and learning, boosting productivity, enhancing romance, stimulating digestion, fostering endurance, enhancing unconscious receptivity to symbolism, and generating a sense of safety and well-being.
Music and your body • Music can be used in stressful situations (think dentist office) to mask unpleasant sounds • Brain waves (of which there are four types) are measured in hertz. The beats per minute of the music you are listening to can change your brain waves. For example, music with 60 bpm can increase alertness by changing your brain waves to Alpha waves. • The bpm of music can affect respiration, which effects mood, motivation, and anxiety levels.
Music and your body • Speaking of effecting respiration, the bpm of music can also effect your heart rate and blood pressure. • Thinking of this, you can improve athleticism and endurance by paying attention to the bpm of music. • A too low bpm will keep your heart rate and respiration down, which doesn’t allow for peak physical work out. • A too high bpm will keep your heart rate and respiration up, which will tire you out quickly.
Music for workouts • Bpm workout chart • Examples: • 180 • 160 • 140 • 125 • 105 • 60
Music and your body • Music also has the ability to change our body temperature. Loud music with a strong beat can rise our body heat a few degrees, while soft music with a weak beat can lower it. • Music effects hormone release and can thereby affect emotions. It has been proven that relaxing music causes the release of dopamine. • Both the affect with temperature and hormones are related to the “goosebumps” you may find that you have while listening to a particularly awesome piece of music
Music and your body • Music and sound can boost the immune function. Current research suggests that an insufficient amount oxygen in the blood may be a major cause of immune deficiency. Music can actually oxygenate the cells.
Music and special needs • Music has been used as a healing force for centuries. • Music therapy goes back to biblical times, when David played the harp to rid King Saul of a bad spirit. • As early as 400 B.C., Hippocrates, Greek father of medicine, played music for his mental patients. • In the thirteenth century, Arab hospitals contained music-rooms for the benefit of the patients. • In the United States, Native American medicine men often employed chants and dances as a method of healing patients. • Music therapy as we know it began in the aftermath of World Wars I and II. Musicians would travel to hospitals, particularly in the United Kingdom, and play music for soldiers suffering from war-related emotional and physical trauma
Music and special needs • Different music theory models include behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychodynamic therapy • Music can be used as a cue, a time and body movement structure, a focus of attention, and as a reward • The brain loves patterns- music is an organized pattern, and the brain responds to it as something easy to distinguish. This is why the music within a specific genre always sounds somewhat the same, and why abstract music is less pleasing to the ear
Music and special needs • One of the biggest challenges in special needs education is getting people to “buy in” to the power of music • Therapists need to have confidence in themselves that they can use music or sing- our culture constructs an idea of “talent” • Children do not have this notion of “talent” and utilize music more freely, making it great in a special needs situation • Provides a unique variety of music experiences in an intentional and developmentally appropriate manner to effect changes in a child’s behavior and facilitate development of his/her communication, social/emotional, sensori-motor, and/or cognitive skills
Music and special needs • The following skill and development areas can be met through music therapy: • Receptive and expressive communication • Academic and daily living skills • Sensory processing and integration • Cognitive skills • Social Skills • Fine and Gross Motor • Emotional expression and awareness • One of the best advantages to music therapy is that several skill areas are worked all at one time, in one session
Music and Special Needs • Music therapists: • Provide assessment, treatment, documentation. • Engage children in singing, listening, moving, playing, and other creative activities to develop skills. • Adapt musical experiences to allow children to expand upon their strengths to address areas of need. • Provide opportunities for family members to interact musically with the child. • Work as a part of an interdisciplinary team, coordinating with physical, speech, occupational, and other therapists as well as physicians and teachers. • Provide consultation services to parents, teachers, and other therapists on usage of music. • Develops a rapport with children • Autism, cancer, Therapist, Session , Story
Therapy- Cognitive • Some children who rarely speak will sing along with songs that they have learned, showing that they are actually demonstrating a lot of memorization and retention. For example, many learning songs such as the “ABC’s” or “Head, shoulders, knees, and toes,” are songs based on basic knowledge, but aid in memory and organizing information.
Therapy- Social • Playing music or instruments with others can also build a sense of community for children who are not connected in other ways. Being able to express themselves through singing and playing instruments may be easier than communicating through words. Although speech and singing are similar forms of communication, yet use different thought processes in the brain, singing can still improve functional communication. In group environments, playing music can also promote social skills like turn taking and following directions.
Therapy- Motor • Many children’s songs like “The Hokey Pokey,” include basic motor movements that can increase skill areas in a child’s body. Playing instruments such as drums or wind instruments not only teaches students rhythm and memorization, but also increases fine motor skills due to the variety of grips and hand positions to make a sound.
Therapy- Appreciation • Learning about music builds children’s appreciation as members of an audience for other’s performances, as well as an understanding of music as a form of expression. This opens up opportunities for our students to create their own new interests as well as their own talents and ability in performances.
Savants • The term idiot savant (French for "learned idiot" or "knowledgeable idiot") was first used to describe the condition in 1887 by John Langdon Down, who is known for his description of Down syndrome. • Savants • More savant • Savant skills are usually found in one or more of five major areas: art, musical abilities, calendar calculation, mathematics and spatial skills.