I recently asked a 3-year-old I was working with, “What’s so great about music?” He replied, “I like it. It’s fun. I listen to it in my Dad’s truck when I went to Nana and Papa’s house.” I later asked a colleague, who claims she is “29 and holding,” “What is so great about music?” She replied, “Music makes me remember things I haven’t thought of in a long time. Like when you turn on the radio and a song your old boyfriend used to sing to you comes on. Or when you’re at church and the song that played at a loved one’s funeral is shared, you just remember certain times. Music also gets you excited for what’s to come in life, like singing along on a road trip. The feelings and the memories, that’s what’s so great about music.” These answers are somewhat similar, as both individuals share that music evokes memories. This could not be more true.
The brain functions using all different kinds of waves. When engaging in everyday activities, your brain functions using Alpha and Theta waves. However, when exposed to music, Beta waves are evoked which effect the memory. These Beta waves are the reasons we remember things using Mneumonic devices so easily. The human brain is “geared” to learn through melody and rhyme. Remember learning about “ROY G BIV” to remember the colors of the rainbow? Check out http://712educators.about.com/od/creativethinking/tp/mnemonics.htm for some other Mnemonic Devices to take you for a walk down memory lane! Help yourself and the children you love by using rhymes and familiar tunes to encourage appropriate behaviors. For example, use the tune of “London Bridges Falling Down” to help your child remember to use manner words by singing something like, “Use your manners, just say please, just say please, just say please. Use your manners, just say please. Use your manners.” It’s as easy as that!