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June 24, 2017

Enhancing Child Cognition Through Music

Cognition is defined as the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and the senses. By this definition, we can say that cognition plays an important role in how each one of us learn concepts and apply what we learn in real life. Not only do we limit learning in concepts rather it encompasses life’s lessons and important values. Because of this, concerned parties, including parents have ventured this arena and experimented on how to impart important lessons to others especially their children so as to reach their maximum potential.

And it doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that one of the most enjoyable activities of humankind actually helps in the development of essential cognitive systems. This activity is music making and/or music training. Listening to music passively helps in the brain development but recent research puts more weight in making music or playing musical instruments as boosters of cognitive development. The activities included here are composing music, reading music, analyzing, arranging, notating, and creating music. Accordingly, compelling evidence supports the hypothesis that these activities, collectively known as musical arts, may provide a positive, significant and lasting benefit to learners.

The essential cognitive systems developed in making music include reasoning, creativity, thinking, decision-making and problem solving. Neural firing patterns are activated and synchronized resulting to orchestrate and connect multiple brain sites. This results in the increase of the brain’s efficiency and effectiveness. Many research literatures and academic articles are available explaining more about Music and the Brain.

Armed with this information, Sharon Burch, a music teacher from Iowa, created Freddie the Frog® with the mission of breaking down big abstract music concepts into developmentally appropriate pieces for kids. Believing that parents should begin exposing their kids to music from Day One, Burch created a fictitious land to introduce the treble clef staff and spun different stories that teach musical concepts spanning now to 5 books. From the original story where she used the treble clef staff as a “map” to a child’s eye, she spun characters and places to stories that represent each line and space in the treble clef. Her efforts were so successful in the classroom that she then decided to share Freddie the Frog® and his adventures to other music teachers and to parents as well and ventured out of The Treble Clef Island.

From the first story, Freddie the Frog® and the Thump in the Night which introduces Freddie and Eli and the Treble Clef Island she followed it with Freddie the Frog® and the Bass Clef Monster. And from the title alone, we learn about the bass clef in this book. The third book, Freddie the Frog® and the Mysterious Wahooooo teaches tempo, rhythm and beats. The fourth one, Freddie the Frog® and the Secret of Crater Island is a continuation of the first book introducing the rest of the notes in the treble clef. Her latest, the fifth installment of the Freddie the Frog® book series is all about JAZZ! Freddie the Frog® and the Flying Jazz Kitten introduces kids to the world of Jazz.

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