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Developing musical intelligence makes more than sound sense Would you be surprised to know that there is an activity that can vastly improve your child’s cognitive capacity? That could develop mastery of languages, help to create memory systems, positively affect emotional state and help with complex problem solving, as well as provide the potential for a healthier brain as it ages? And what if that activity was found by scientists to be beneficial at any time of life but most beneficial before the age of seven? Dr Anita Collins, from Melbourne University, in her inspirational TED talk, confirms that, remarkably, scientists have found that activity to be music! Researcher Dr Shiela Woodward has established that children have musical memory and the ability to hear us speaking from as early as 22 weeks in-utero. Dr Anita Collins worked with neuroscientists using MRI scans to show that when we speak, the left side of the brain


lights up and when we do mathematics, the right side is stimulated. Amazingly, when we listen to music, the whole brain lights up. When we make music the images show fireworks—literally a party in the brain! Music is the one activity that stimulates the whole brain.

Testing shows that babies as young as one to three days old begin processing language through their musical pathways. Babies music processing networks to understand and recognise their mother’s voice. Scientists found that music education works three parts of the brain at once; the motor, visual and auditory cortices. This is the equivalent of a full brain workout, allowing messages to travel far more quickly along more pathways. The study found that musicians have much higher executive function than the general population.

Bayside MamaMag March 2016  
Bayside MamaMag March 2016