Playing a musical instrument improves brain health
Children 6-18 years of age are more likely to reap the benefits of playing a musical instrument as it relates to brain growth and development. And the younger one starts the better. Data from the National Institutes of Health Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden reveal that music training is associated with an increase in cortical thickness, especially in the premotor and motor cortices as well as angular gyrus and prefrontal cortices. This means children will have better motor planning and coordination, visual spatial ability, emotional regulation and impulse control. Children, especially those with executive level problems e.g. keeping tabs of things and managing impulses, weaknesses in working memory and inattentiveness may benefit by taking up an instrument, even the drums!
This translates to a non medication strategy for the treatment of ADHD and perhaps more musical creativity as well as support for school based music programs.Type your paragraph here.
Activity is the basic ingredient for physical, social and intellectual growth. Activity promotes cardiovascular health, prevents obesity, improves mood and mental health. Yet physical activity decreases by 5%-10% each year a child grows. A new term is used to describe kids who are not getting enough daily activity, Exercise Deficit Disorder. Preschool aged children should engage in unstructured play 15 minutes every hour while awake. Children over 6 years should participate in 60 minutes of physical activity every day. School recess helps but is often not long enough and some kids are marginalized thus not really playing. One of the ways I encourage physical activity is by volunteer coaching for the track and cross country programs in Winslow. A few resources to review:
Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans, www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/
Designed to Move, www.designedtomove.org.
And as a parent ask the question my father-in-law asked his kids every day, "What kind of exercise did you get today?"