Educational CyberPlayGround


Music is Language, Language is Music

Educational CyberPlayGround: Music, Literacy and Technology
Integrate Literacy, Music and Technology into the Classroom.
MUSIC AND READING - Ballads were responsible for spreading Literacy.Cite Cite
The Roots of Print, Power, Politics, Literacy, Ballads, Plays.
Listen to 17th Century Print Culture Who is Allowed to Know?

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We are finding that musical training can alter the nervous system to create a better learner... ” Dr Nina Kraus 8/4/14 Musical training 'can improve language and reading' Learning to sing or play a musical instrument can help disadvantaged children improve their reading skills, US research suggests. After a year of music lessons, the reading scores of nine and 10-year-olds held steady compared to a dip seen in those who were not taught any music. Another group of musically-trained children were found to be better at processing sounds and language. After two years of musical training, the results showed the musical group was faster and more accurate at distinguishing one sound from another, particularly when there was background noise, compared to a group that did not participate in any musical activity. Dr Kraus said this showed music could have a positive impact on the brain, which could also help learning, but it was not a quick fix. "Research has shown that there are differences in the brains of children raised in impoverished environments that affect their ability to learn," he explained. "While more affluent students do better in school than children from lower income backgrounds, we are finding that musical training can alter the nervous system to create a better learner and help offset this academic gap." All the children had similar IQs and reading ability at the start of the study. Dr Kraus said music appeared to remodel the brain to improve the connections between sounds and meaning, the process by which babies learn to speak. Children growing up in poorer areas with poorly-educated mothers are more likely to have 'noisier brains', she said. This is because they are less likely to know and recognise a wide range of words and are therefore less able to respond to sounds and language. "Music automatically sharpens the nervous system's response to sounds," Dr Kraus explained. The children participating in the study were part of the Harmony Project, which provides instruments and free music tuition for American schoolchildren in certain deprived urban areas.
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[2] BBC - Wales The Story of Welsh - Reading the Word
In 1718 the first book to be printed on a permanent printing press in Wales was a ballad about smoking - Can o Senn iw hen Feistr Tobacco (A Song of Rebuke to his Old Master Tobacco).

It don't mean a thing if you ain't got that swing . . .
~ Duke Ellington

"Make everything as simple as possible,
but no simpler".
~ Albert Einstein

Evolutionary Science:
Music is communication, Music is language.
We hear and process all language as sound first
and THEN we process the sound as as meaning something which we call a language.

Remember we are animal and we will respond to a growl - hearing it as something dangerous - and that has meaning which will let us survive.
As language develops some cultures pay attention to the pitch of the word and the rhythm of the word. In all cultures, If it doesn't have the right rhythm nobody will understand.

Hear: Cab Calloway: Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing.

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"I was so happy first learning to sing the songs and then how to write."
Nüshu, Women's Secret Script - Yang learned alongside a neighbor girl, Gao Yinxian, who eventually became a prolific nushu author. "I was about 10 years old or so," Yang said. See Link

  1. What I Can Do to Comprehend During Reading
  3. Music Makes You Smarter Research over 30 research articles
  4. Study Ties Mental Abilities To Interaction of Emotion and Cognitive Skills
  5. Learn about Rhythm Syllables
  6. Languages' rhythm and language acquisition by Franck Ramus
    EHESS doctoral dissertation defended 25/11/99 Discipline: Cognitive Science
  7. Journal of Research in Music Education 35, 4: 221-235.
    This article compared alternative methods of teaching rhythm.
    Second- and third-graders were divided into four groups--a control group, a group which used Kodaly syllables, a group which used Gordon syllables, and a group which used meaningful words, such as "Washington" and "Mississippi." The four groups were pre-tested and post-tested on recognition, dictation, and performance. The most significant finding was that the Washington-Mississippi group scored best in the performance post-test.
  8. Learn about the rhythmic structure of human speech communication, speech and music connection and Interdisciplinary Social Rhythm Researchers.
  9. Mandarin, is a tone language. In tone languages, a single word can differ in meaning depending on pitch patterns called "tones." For example, the Mandarin word "mi" delivered in a level tone means "to squint," in a rising tone means "to bewilder," and in a dipping (falling then rising) tone means "rice." English, on the other hand, only uses pitch to reflect intonation (as when rising pitch is used in questions).
  10. 2007 Research finds music training 'tunes' human auditory system
    Provides concrete evidence that playing a musical instrument significantly enhances the brainstem's sensitivity to speech sounds. This finding has broad implications because it applies to sound encoding skills involved not only in music but also in language.
    The findings indicate that experience with music at a young age in effect can "fine-tune" the brain's auditory system. "Increasing music experience appears to benefit all children -- whether musically exceptional or not -- in a wide range of learning activities," says Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory and senior author of the study. "Our findings underscore the pervasive impact of musical training on neurological development. Yet music classes are often among the first to be cut when school budgets get tight. That's a mistake," says Kraus, Hugh Knowles Professor of Neurobiology and Physiology and professor of communication sciences and disorders. "Our study is the first to ask whether enhancing the sound environment -- in this case with musical training -- will positively affect the way an individual encodes sound even at a level as basic as the brainstem," says Patrick Wong, primary author of "Musical Experience Shapes Human Brainstem Encoding of Linguistic Pitch Patterns." An old structure from an evolutionary standpoint, the brainstem once was thought to only play a passive role in auditory processing.
    Using a novel experimental design, the researchers presented the Mandarin word "mi" to 20 adults as they watched a movie. Half had at least six years of musical instrument training starting before the age of 12. The other half had minimal (less than 2 years) or no musical training. As the subjects watched the movie, the researchers used electrophysiological methods to measure and graph the accuracy of their brainstem ability to track the three differently pitched "mi" sounds.
    "Even with their attention focused on the movie and though the sounds had no linguistic or musical meaning for them, we found our musically trained subjects were far better at tracking the three different tones than the non-musicians," says Wong, director of Northwestern's Speech Research Laboratory and assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders. "We've found that by playing music -- an action thought of as a function of the neocortex -- a person may actually be tuning the brainstem," says Kraus. "This suggests that the relationship between the brainstem and neocortex is a dynamic and reciprocal one and tells us that our basic sensory circuitry is more malleable than we previously thought."

While LISTENING takes place: Eyes vs. Ears

How the Brain Works

Dr. James Catterall education professor at the University of California Los Angeles, found that students who were highly involved in the arts had higher grades and standardized test scores.

Playing music can be good for your brain Stanford study finds it helps the understanding of language. Carrie Sturrock, Chronicle Staff Writer Thursday, November 17, 2005Stanford University research has found for the first time that musical training improves how the brain processes the spoken word, a finding that researchers say could lead to improving the reading ability of children who have dyslexia and other reading problems.
The study, made public Wednesday, is the first to show that musical experience can help the brain improve its ability to distinguish between rapidly changing sounds that are key to understanding and using language.
The research also eventually could provide the "why" behind other studies that have found that playing a musical instrument has cognitive benefits.
"What this study shows, that's novel, is that there's a specific aspect of language ... that's changed in the minds and brains of people with musical training," said researcher John Gabrieli, a former Stanford psychology professor now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge

John D. E. Gabrieli, Ph.D.
Grover Hermann Professor in Health Sciences and Technology and Cognitive Neuroscience
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology Gabrieli Lab
Building: 46-4033
phone: (617) 253-8946
Department of Psychology
448 Jordan Hall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305
Ph: (650)725-2430