Music has a profound effect on our mood, blood pressure, and heart rate.
Research indicates that music strengthens areas of the brain (that, in a child with ADHD, are weak.) Music strengthens the auditory, visual/spatial, and motor cortices of the brain. These areas are tied to speech and language skills, reading, reading comprehension, math, problem-solving, brain organization, focus, and attention challenges.
Parents of children with ADHD should know that there are methods beyond medication and counseling to treat ADHD. One of them is music. Confirmed by multiple research studies to play a significant role in cognitive development, music can be used to help children organize their thoughts.
But not any music will do. Only certain classical music builds a bigger, better brain. Listening to jazz or pop doesn’t have the same beneficial effects. A study conducted by Donald Shetler, Ed.D., of the Eastman School of Music, found that kids who listened to classical music for 20 minutes a day had improved speech and language skills, a stronger memory, and greater organization of the brain.
Classical music is peaceful and harmonious making it one of the best options to listen to when studying. It seems that there is evidence that Mozart improves mental performance. They call it the “Mozart Effect.”
It is said that to study it’s necessary to have a quiet environment without distractions. However, for some, studying in a quiet environment can backfire. This ‘quiet environment’ can make you end up fighting boredom and succumbing to the allure of sleeping at your desk! This is why the importance of choosing the right music for studying can’t be underestimated.
Although some studies say that listening to music while you study isn’t good, for many people it’s vital. It’s calms them down, which can lead to productive studying. Music can also help elevate your mood and motivate you to study longer.
It helps you focus, reduce distractions, maintain your productivity and retain information when working, studying, writing and reading.
Music stimulates the brain
‘Nothing activates the brain so extensively as music’. So says Oliver Sacks, a doctor and researcher at Columbia University, who has used music as a complementary treatment for many of his patients.
Research backs up his claim. Pleasurable music is known to increase dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is responsible for regulating motivation, working memory and attention ( which is often found in lower levels in people with ADHD.)
This is one of the main reasons why there are benefits of music for kids to train their brains and achieve higher levels of self-control and focus – both at home and in the classroom.
Music provides organization
Children may struggle to focus and regulate their thoughts and behaviors to maintain a linear path. Music has a defined structure and can help regain a sense of organization. It can also guide them – many kids with attention issues have trouble following directions, and music can help them to stay attentive and interpret the rhythm and melody as direction.
Music therapist, Kirsten Hutchison, claims that the structure of music has a positive impact on kids’ ability to structure their activities in a timeline, as well as strategize their responses to the things around them. ‘The structure helps a child plan, anticipate and react,’ she says.
Music has a soothing effect
Music has the power to change our moods and influence our emotions. That’s why it’s only natural that certain types of music, mostly slow and tranquil, present a great opportunity for reducing the impulsiveness and restlessness that children with attention issues often suffer from.
But that’s not all. Music can also help to alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Music is social
Writing, practicing and performing music are all social activities. That’s why music therapists are eager to use these forms of social practice in order to help children with ADD to learn appropriate behaviors in social situations.
Children can learn how to listen to others with attention, recognize how to anticipate changes, get to know the social rules of taking turns in performance and generally follow cues that might not be as effective when generated outside a music therapy session.
Music therapy means many things – it can be listening to music, creating it or playing together with recorded music. It can even be composing music or writing song lyrics. All of this helps children to communicate their moods and feelings, while simultaneously reducing their level of anxiety and restlessness. Music therapy is versatile and readily available – a great option for complementing traditional treatments of ADD in children.
Feel free to use my Youtube Playlist on music proven to help focus: