Some researchers describe music as the language of the right brain. This is because the body
resonates at a stable molecular wavelength. The right brain is sensitive to this inner rhythm.
Music has its own frequencies which either resonate or conflict with the body’s own rhythms.
When both are resonating at the same or similar frequency, you feel more aware and alert.
5-year-old Jeremy had ADHD—attention deficit hyperactive disorder. In our Montessori classroom, lessons are arranged on shelves for the children to choose and work with, at their leisure. Jeremy would become excited about new lessons when they were presented in the morning circle time, but would seldom choose a lesson to work with for any amount of time. He would move about the room constantly touching or momentarily looking at the classroom materials, but would then run off to play in the areas of the school that provided more movement.
Fresh after a weekend course about music and its effects on learning, the teachers decided to play calming 60-beats-per-minute music softly in the background. We were pleased to see it effect all the children at some level, but none so much as with Jeremy.
Almost as soon as the music began to play, Jeremy's movements started too slow. It was as if his mind had a dial and he had turned it to a different rhythm. His gaze, instead of flitting from place to place, stayed focused mindfully on one thing at a time.
When he spoke to us, he was connecting with us—eyes to eyes, heart to heart.
Soon, Jeremy's Montessori lesson folder began to grow with more pages as he explored lessons from each corner: Math, Writing, Reading, Science, Arts/Crafts and Practical Life.
"What is going on?" Jeremy's mother soon asked us toward the end of the week as she saw his once-blank lesson folder.
"MUSIC!" we happily replied.
As I think back upon Jeremy's reaction, I realize that the music had an effect upon us all. Music affected the children's social interactions--they slowed down a little to really listen to one another. The math, writing, art and science corners were full of focused creativity and incredible creations. As teachers, our senses were rested and we were able to monitor the activity in a full room of 50+ busy children with greater ease and joy.
Beethoven is once quoted as having said "Music can change the world."
We believe him.