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Musical brains and where they can take your children in the future

Posted by Tilly Stevens on April 18, 2017 at 10:29 AM

Tilly Stevens

It turns out that musical training can change our brains. Learning a musical instrument can improve cognitive functions such as motor function, auditory processing, emotion and social skills. 

Researchers at Mexico City’s Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez found 23 children showed dramatic changes in brain function after 9 months training with percussion instruments. 

The musical training made physical changes in the students’ brains. The two hemispheres of the brain communicated better. And the overall functioning of the children’s brains improved. Not only the brain regions related to music.

The results of this study suggest scientists may be able to develop music-based programs to help children with ADHD or autism.

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Topics: Brain Science, Music

How Learning Music Helps Develop Reading Skills: Dr Nina Kraus

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 15, 2017 at 7:16 AM

Peter Barnes

Playing a musical instrument (not just listening to music) improves reading, according to Dr Nina Kraus, in a presentation at Scientific Learning Corporation’s 2017 Visionary Conference.

Dr Kraus is the Director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University, Illinois, USA.

We are indebted to Dr Kraus for the following notes about the connections between music, rhythm and reading. 

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Topics: Reading, Music

Music Educators Brad Fuller & Peter Orenstein: Collaborative Teaching

Posted by Colin Klupiec on April 28, 2016 at 3:45 PM

Colin Klupiec

Brad Fuller and Peter Orenstein are music educators at Northern Beaches Christian School on the North Shore of Sydney. 

They run a unique music program that seeks to provide a rich environment for music students. Their program is built on a collaborative model of teaching and leadership. 

Brad & Peter use their experiences as musicians to experiment with new ideas for teaching. Whilst there is a curriculum to deliver, the spirit of improvisation is strong in the way they teach it.

They emphasise what they describe as a bi-directional model of leadership. This allows for the free flow of ideas between them and their students.

I spoke to them on the Learning Capacity podcast on site, where all the magic happens. In this episode, Brad and Peter give us an insight into their creative and collaborative space. 

Listen to the podcast:


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Topics: Podcasts, Music, Teaching

Can Playing Music Help Develop Working Memory and Improve Attention?

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 9, 2015 at 4:21 PM

Peter Barnes

Interesting new research from the University of Vermont, USA suggests that children who learn a musical instrument may be improving their brains in ways that help them well beyond their music lesson or practice.

Learning music might help children to:

  • Improve their attention
  • Enhance their working memory
  • Develop better organisation and planning skills
  • Control their emotions
  • Reduce anxiety
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Topics: Attention, Memory, Music

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