I really love making music with young children and their mommies, daddies, grandmas and caregivers! I feel so fortunate to have been able to do this awesome work for many years and, while I truly believe that music-learning for it's very own sake is KING (and also supports a child's development in almost all areas), I was recently listening to a talk at our annual Music Together® Conference, from Karl Paulneck, and learned how music learning is even MORE powerful than I had previously known. Music even helps the brain develop and grow!

First of all, here is a little bit of brain information: we know that brain' ability to make new connections, repair themselves and restructure is super important. This helps us learn new things, solve problems, and relate to the world. Can you imagine not being able to learn new things just because you were turning 50 soon? This would be so personally disturbing. We used to believe that the brain was a physiologically static organ, but new research is showing otherwise! Yaaa! The brain's plasticity, also known as neuroplasticity, describes how our experiences reorganize neural pathways. When we learn new things, our brains get structured accordingly. This is super exciting.

More exciting news that I learned from Karl Paulneck: there are FOUR things that stimulate the brain's neuroplasticity. Drum roll please......

  1. MUSIC
  2. Intentional EXERCISE (and movement)
  3. PLAY
  4. NUMINOUS EXPERIENCES (experiences that take us away from our ego and when our sense of self is absorbed, such as spiritual experiences or possibly singing in a choir/ playing in a band or group music making at Music Together)
Anyone who has been to a Music Together class knows that we do all four of these things each and every week we get to see our families. The numinous experience happens when families are singing and moving together with their children and get lost in that awesome soup of sound with silly ostinatos, or rounds, or precious lullabies into babies ears.

I love that our brains are "plastic"!
♥ Kathy Rowe
Music Together in Phoenix

PS Read more about Karl Paulneck's Welcome Address at the Boston Conservatory: Welcome Address