Does music help attention? Does white noise help attention?

 

Something I saw in I think Smithsonian magazine about using music to help your brain. I liked what they noted about people with attention deficits and how they may calm down in a paradoxical way – ie how taking the equivalent of speed calms them while it “speeds” the rest of us up. Very interesting neurologically.

Anyway, the thing about anxiety – that USED to be the case for me, that when I was frequently (severely) anxious, I listened to Enya while lying in a dark room and practicing diagraphagmatic breathing. But eventually when I thought of Enya it made me anxious because the two became so linked. So then I could no longer listen to  Enya without that association of being panicked. So sometimes it turns on you! My new favorite is Native American Indian flutes, the Canyon Trilogy, by R. Carlos Nakai. Many of my kids in special ed also really enoy it.

This reminds me that I want to do a post soon about white noise. Some studies have come out showing that white noise or classical music can be very helpful for concentration for SOME PEOPLE – especially those with ADD. But for those with “regular” concentration, it can actually be harmful to our attention. When I was in 7th grade, we had a history teacher who was big on playing classical music during our tests. He had good intentions and I know there were/are studies showing classical music helps. But it was a novel stimulus and I know for me it actually made it much harder to concentrate. Try white noise apps for your OT kiddos with ADHD to use while working, and see if it seems to help them out. (In our district our 3rd graders and higher have individual iPads so it would be easy for us to implement but maybe not so easy in most districts). But be careful of using classical music/white noise with ALL children. Better to use as a case by case basis.
Oh. Guess I don’t need to write a new post about white noise, I just wrote it. 😉

Dec 08, 2012 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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