Providing a balanced day is key to helping young children learn and grow. In order for children to stay in balance, they need moments in which they can be active, and they also need moments that are quiet and relaxed.
Active moments help children stay physically fit and keeps their blood flowing so that their brain receives the energy it needs to stay focused and process information with accuracy and creativity.
Calm moments help children to regroup and recharge, while being reflective and having time to organize information and experience deep thinking. Each of these components should be built into a daily schedule and routine.
There are many things that can help children stay calm, such as deep breathing, focused thinking, communication, and action steps. Using music to help children is an action step to setting the tone for movement and motion or peace and quiet.
Johnathan Berger, PhD of Stanford University reported the following from a study regarding how the brain reacts to music, “Music engages the brain over a period of time, he said, and the process of listening to music could be a way that the brain sharpens its ability to anticipate events and sustain attention.”
Music can help establish both active and calm settings for students to engage in these two very different processes. The brain and body respond to stimuli, and music can act in this way to stimulate very diverse feelings. Some music will help children want to move, run, jump, and dance, or the tone of the music may help them be calm, stop, focus, and reflect.
As adults, we can help set the stage by playing purposeful music.
Ask yourself this question: What types of music can I play in my classroom or at home that will encourage balanced brains and behavior?