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How Learning to Play the Piano Effects the Brain

Pianos Scientific evidence has proved that learning to play a musical instrument like the piano affects and even makes changes on an individual's brain.

Various research studies have shown that learning the piano (as well as other musical instruments) has an affect on the auditory cortex, a part of the brain that is responsible for the processing of sound.

According to the findings, pianists tend to show more brain activity on this part of the brain. Other studies have also shown that preschoolers with musical training exhibit larger brain responses on various sound recognition tests. Individuals with early childhood piano lessons tend to have enhanced motor and auditory skills. They also exhibit improved verbal ability as well as nonverbal reasoning. Such training enhances a person's acoustic responsiveness.

In musicians, the brain structure that is associated with auditory processing is larger in the left hemisphere and smaller in the right. They also have a thicker nerve-fiber tract between the left and the right hemisphere. This increases the speed of communication between the two hemispheres. Music stimulates both sides of the brain as well as the area that contains the memory and emotions

Piano Lessons and the Affect on Memory

Its been shown that undertaking piano lessons has an impact on a person's memory. A study by Agnes Chan of the University of Hongkong proved that those individuals who had received musical training before the age of 12 had a better memory when it came to the spoken words than those who had never received such training.

Therefore, piano lessons have a long a long-term effect on someone's verbal memory. It affects his/her attention and memory which in turn leads to better learning.

Neural Pathways and Neuroplasticity

A research conducted by Nina Kraus of Northwestern University showed that musical training has some effects on a person's nervous system. The training builds meaningful patterns that are important in learning. Active engagement with musical sounds enhances neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to change and even adapt as a result of training or experience.

Understanding music (especially learning to translate musical symbols into sounds like with piano lessons,) enhances the individual's ability to learn other things which share similar neuro pathways. Early musical training helps in strengthening connections between the neurons in the brain which leads to long-term development in certain parts of the brain.

Researchers probing the inner working of the brain have found neural firing patterns that are resemble musical patterns. This therefore suggests that music holds the key to higher brain functioning

Spatial-Temporal Function

A study in which children were given eight months of piano lessons in Atlanta proved that musical training improved spatial temporal reasoning. Children who take piano lessons tend to score higher in tests on general and spatial cognitive development. Pianos lessons can significantly reduce anxiety, depression and stress.

The best way to strengthen the eye-hand coordination and improve one's motor skills is through playing the piano. The children who take piano lessons learn a lot concerning dedication, discipline and the reward of hard work.

From all there findings, it is quite evident that piano lessons have so many to the brain. Besides benefiting the brain, the joy of making music is quite satisfying to most piano players.

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Why You Should Only Buy Natural Organic Toys for Babies & Toddlers

Natural Organic ToysNo mother or father in the world would expose their children to any danger with their full knowledge. However, some parent do so inadvertently through toys.

Toys for babies and toddlers come in two varieties: organic toys and inorganic toys. Many parents think most toys are safe simply because toy manufacturers say they are. But the truth of the matter is, non-organic toys are often made from materials that pose health risks to growing children.

If you're curious about natural organic baby toys, then this article is for you. There are countless reasons and options for choosing natural organic toys for babies and toddlers. Not only are these toys often made from natural wood and other materials, but many natural organic toys are designed as educational toys which can be vital for healthy and progressive growth in babies and young children.

Why Choose Natural Organic Toys for Babies and Toddlers?

When our babies reach the age of playing with toys, we run to the toy stores and pick the toys we think our little ones would love and as long as they are indicated safe for babies of a certain age group, we are good to go. Next time, take a closer look and choose natural organic toys for babies. Here are the reasons why:

Organic Toys for Babies are Made from Harmless Materials

A decade ago, all metal toy jewelries were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This is because some of the toys were found to contain lead. Since babies put everything in their mouth, lead can get into their system with catastrophic outcomes. Plastic (PVC) toys commonly labeled non-toxic usually emit substances called dioxins which are poisonous.

Furthermore, the PVC toys are usually softened during the manufacturing process by phthalates which interfere with hormonal functions and therefore growth and development. Organic baby toys are made from only natural materials which contain no such toxins, therefore ensuring the health and well-being of your baby even as he or she grows and plays.

Some toy marketers argue that the levels of these chemicals are too low to affect your baby. However, you need to remember that your baby is likely to play with that toy for a long period of time. The cumulative effect of this over the years is what is responsible for the dangers associated with inorganic toys.

Organic Toys are Non-Allergenic

Your baby’s young skin is not yet exposed to environmental allergens so that he or she can tolerate them. On the other hand, some babies generally have hypersensitive skins. Some non-organic baby toys contain allergens and can cause nasty, even life threatening reactions when they get in contact with your baby’s skin.

Baby’s skin is thinner and has larger pores and this makes it susceptible even to allergens not expected to react with skin. Organic toys for babies are made for the naturally occurring materials such as solid wood, cotton wool and other organic materials that are gentle and safe for a baby’s tender skin.

Organic Baby Toys are Eco-Friendly

The biggest threat to human existence is global warming and everyone must play his or her part to avert the problem. You may not know it but the inorganic toys for babies are major contributors to environmental degradation and pollution. The metallic toys that contain lead release it to the atmosphere and some of polyvinyl chloride toys emit dioxins and phthalates which are also emitted to the atmosphere.

That aside, most inorganic toys are non-biodegradable meaning that they cannot be broken down by the natural biological processes. This means that once you have no use for them or when they get broken, they will end up in the landfills. Landfills present a major ecological problem and if you continue using inorganic toys you are definitely contributing to this environmental degradation.

Natural Toys for Toddlers and Babies are Typically Educational

It is a misconception that natural toys are less capable of helping to improve a baby’s mental growth. Most organic toys are simple and more educational. This simplicity encourages babies to use their ingenuity and artisanship in order to engage in creative play.

Even though some organic toys for toddlers and babies are not as flashy as the un-natural toys, the natural baby toys are more beautiful and therefore will be more appealing to your little one’s sense of touch.

The Last Word About Natural Organic Baby Toys

If you have a small baby or a toddler, you should strongly consider making the switch to natural organic baby toys if you want to reduce the level of exposure of your child to pollutants, toxins and chemicals. You will also be contributing your part on ensuring eco-friendliness of your immediate environment.

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Top Toys Designed to Promote Greater Levels of Creativity & Intelligence

In today's day in age, most parents in developed countries are conscious about the toys that they give their kids. While many are turning to more educational-based toys, a huge market is growing around natural and organic toys made from sustainably-harvested wood, cotton, and other more basic materials.

To highlight some of the major influencers that are supporting more eco-conscious and natural tools for learning, in this post we share some of our top, research-backed selections for creative, intelligence-driven toys.

Puzzles Wooden Toys for Kids

Puzzle provide the perfect means to encourage high-levels of intellectual engagement. As one of the best toys for kids learning and development, puzzles help to refine skills in:

  • Fine Motor
  • Problem Solving
  • Shape Recognition
  • Hand-Eye Coordination
  • Memory
  • Patience
  • Goal Setting

Although there are hundreds of different puzzles on the market, most all, to some degree, enable advanced cognition, intelligence, deductive reasoning, and creativity. Parents can also find puzzles made for natural and organic materials, as well as puzzles tailored specifically for educational advancement. Among one of the leading brands is Melissa and Doug.

Wooden Play Kitchens wooden play kitchens

Wooden play kitchens are one of the best types of toys that help foster creative and cognitive development in kids. Ideal when complete with natural wooden play foods, a wide range of cooking utensils and cookware, and of course some imagination,wooden play kitchens can keep children engaged for hours.

Although there are many different manufacturers of wooden play kitchens, some of the best brands of wooden play kitchen sets for intelligence-boosting are Elves and Angels and Plan Toys, to name a few. Check out these brands by visiting the Hazelnut Kids wooden play kitchens where you can discover a large collection of kids wooden play kitchens made from natural wood materials.

Waldorf Dolls

Based on principles of Rudolf Steiner and the Waldorf education, the famous Waldorf doll collection are recognized for their innate design and natural material composition. The focus of the Waldorf school of education is fostering analytical and creative means of learning and understanding. Emphasis is placed on tools and activities that center on artistic expression and social engagement. waldorf doll

What is unique about Waldorf dolls is that they are tailored to have minimal facial expressions. This helps encourage the imaginative role in children. Waldorf dolls are made from natural and organic cotton and they can be purchased a number of different accessories and clothing options to choose from.

Wooden Blocks

As a timeless toy option that can be made using natural and organic materials, wooden blocks are a great choice that foster relentless creativity and intelligence building for kids of all ages. Through the experience and discovery of stacking various sequences and structures, wooden blocks help to teach boys and girls problem-solving skills, as well as deductive reasoning.

For many years, blocks have been the paramount among wooden toys for kids. These classic toys encourage children to imagine and create structures and building that only their imagination thought possible. In addition to being awesome toys for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school aged children, wooden blocks have been known to be good choices for kids with ADHD and other attention issues.

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