Children and the Mass Media

September 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Posted in Delopmental Stages, emergent literacy, Kindermusik | Leave a comment
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How Setting Limits Will Benefit Your Children By Greg Taillon

Gone are the days of children coming home from school, eating homemade chocolate chip cookies and then going outside to play with their friends until it’s time to do homework. Today, older children are often home alone after school. As a result, they sometimes are tempted to spend their time being entertained with video games, watching television, downloading music and chatting on the Internet instead of doing their homework and more active leisure activities. These temptations are all competing for children’s time at the expense of their education, health and well being.

Childhood obesity, school violence, ADHD and poor reading and math skills can all be tied to too much mass media play in childhood. Too many children are neglecting schoolwork and exercise in favor of eating chips in front of the TV. Fast-paced video games and television shows have shortened children’s attention spans. Recreational reading is almost nonexistent. Even worse, the violence children see on TV is being replayed in the schools, and basic reading and math skills are lagging way behind.

Too Much Media Exposure

Children spend more than 38 hours per week being entertained by the mass media – almost four times the amount of time they spend on schoolwork. As a result, academics are suffering. According to research and standardized test scores, American students are struggling to read at proficient levels, and most recreational reading has stopped. Math skills are also lagging. Once children fall behind with basic academic skills, they have a hard time catching up. This will have long-term ramifications on them, as the future will bring about more advanced jobs and fewer qualified people to fill them. These jobs include medical personnel, engineers, college professors and other highly educated or technical professions.

Overexposure to television starts at an early age. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no TV for children younger than age 2, and no more than two hours per day of high-quality programming for older children. The truth is that many children watch much more than the recommended guidelines.   (read more)

Want to do something about this epidemic? Sign your child up for a Kindermusik class and learn about engaging your child with music in ways that help eliminate this trend! Fall Semester begins September 7th, with classes for children infant through age 7. www.kindermusikofclayton.com/SchoolYearSchedule.htm

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Washington Post article so revealing “Background TV Distracts Kids from Play”

September 1, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Posted in Kindermusik, Washington Post | Leave a comment
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Washington Post HealthDay Reporter Serena Gordon wrote this very interesting article about a recent study.

“Even if young children aren’t watching the TV, it may be distracting them from their play and depriving them of developing critical attention skills, a new study says.

When children aged 3 and younger played in a room with a television on that was tuned to adult programming, they played for about 5 percent less time than when there was no background TV. More importantly, when there was no background TV, the children’s play was more focused with longer play episodes, the study found.

“Background TV is a disruptive and distracting influence. Our evidence is that TV keeps the children from sustaining their attention at a time when developmentally, they’re beginning to organize their attention skills and sequencing behaviors,” said study senior author Daniel Anderson, a professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

“Parents think it [background TV] doesn’t matter because the programs aren’t directed at children, but just because a child isn’t paying active attention doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a disruptive effect,” he added….. (read more)

How Arts Training Improves Attention and Cognition in an article on The Dana Foundation website.

September 17, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Posted in Brain Development, Children's Music, Delopmental Stages, Kindermusik, Music, Whole Body, Whole Brain, Whole Child | 1 Comment
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Posner-PatoineBrain_contMerri Williams, fellow Kindermusik Educator and friend shared this very interesting article and I must do the same!

How Arts Training Improves Attention and Cognition
By Michael I. Posner, Ph.D., and Brenda Patoine
Does education in the arts transfer to seemingly unrelated cognitive abilities? Researchers are finding evidence that it does. Michael Posner argues that when children find an art form that sustains their interest, the subsequent strengthening of their brains’ attention networks can improve cognition more broadly.

If there were a surefire way to improve your brain, would you try it? Judging by the abundance of products, programs and pills that claim to offer “cognitive enhancement,” many people are lining up for just such quick brain fixes. Recent research offers a possibility with much better, science-based support: that focused training in any of the arts—such as music, dance or theater—strengthens the brain’s attention system, which in turn can improve cognition more generally. Furthermore, this strengthening likely helps explain the effects of arts training on the brain and cognitive performance that have been reported in several scientific studies, such as those presented in May 2009 at a neuroeducation summit at Johns Hopkins University (co-sponsored by the Dana Foundation). (read more)

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