Raising North Dakota: Benefits of Music


Food and exercise fuel the brain, but have you considered music for the mind?
In this week’s Raising North Dakota…
Alysia Huck shows us the numerous benefits of including music in a child’s daily routine.

Music …whether it’s used to calm a child, educate, or give them some pep in their step, the benefits are endless.
After working with young children for more than 25 years, Shelley Hauge knows the importance of incorporating music into a child’s daily routine.
“Socially it helps children really do some self-expression, some things they maybe need to get out in their life that they maybe aren’t always able to without the music, just let themselves go,” said Shelley Hauge, director of Child’s Hope Learning Center. “Really good for language, speech to help them express themselves and really increases their vocabulary and the social skills, which today with technology, sometimes is severely lacking so music is a great way to express yourself.”

In addition, studies have shown that music lays the foundation for learning to spell and read.
Music can also be very therapeutic.  
While the “why” is not completely known, what scientist DO know is music activates the entire brain and can improve how we think, behave, and feel.
Hauge has seen first hand how music can alleviate stress in kids of all ages.

“When we provide music for some of those kids who have high anxiety, it gives them something else to focus on,” Hauge explained. “Music is like a distraction, but a pleasing distraction and lets your body get stuff out.”   

Hauge says on days when the kids are a little squirrely, she’ll turn on the music, and they immediately gravitate to the tunes.

“It helps them focus and get centered so they can pull it all together,” Hauge said. “Sometimes kids can’t get themselves back together, so we help them get that, let them focus, then they can let it out in a more productive way.”

And no child is too young to benefit from music.

“Even the little ones, they’re clapping and don’t realize they’re learning things but they’re actually doing syllables, so it’s all counting and math too,” Hauge said.

When music fills the air, one can’t help but move with the tune – and that means crossing the midline, which is important for learning to crawl, ride a bike, writing and much more.

“When we do music our hands cross our body and our legs cross back and forth so you’re crossing your midline and your brain has to tell you to do that,” Hauge explained. “So your brain connects and that’s where all the synapsis connects together.”

Music – it feeds the soul, the brain and the body.

Reporting for KX News, I’m Alysia Huck.

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