Archive for November, 2013

Music Training for the Brain!

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 by admin

Many of us, as adults, regret that we ever quit playing or studying an instrument.  There are many brain benefits that come from musical training! Think about all the things that are going on when a child is playing: his eyes follow the music as well as the conductor’s movement (or teacher’s direction); being aware the entire time of both the music coming from his own instrument as well as the sounds from fellow students surrounding him (or the accompaniment). The complexity involved in practicing and performing music may truly help a child’s cognitive development.

New research presented at the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego suggests that music training increases the neural connections in regions of the brain associated with creativity, decision-making, and complex memory. It may also improve a child’s ability to process conflicting information from many senses at once. The earlier a child starts playing, the better.

“It’s really hard to come up with an experience similar to that as an education intervention,” said Gottfried Schlaug, the director of the Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory at Harvard Medical School. “Not only does it require attention and coordination of multiple senses, but it often triggers emotions, involves cooperation with other people, and provides immediate feedback to the student on how well he or she is progressing,” he said. “Music, on its own, has also been shown to trigger the reward area of the brain,” he noted.

Take a look for opportunities to get your child involved in a musical opportunity – from seeing live performances to learning a new instrument! Many communities have both private and group lesson options, especially through community education programs and local universities or college campuses. It’s worth it for your child’s developing brain.

Brainjogging 5-7 minutes, twice daily, also improves your child’s brain! If you want more information about Brainjogging or individual hands-on sessions, contact Camp Academia today! We always look forward to helping your child succeed!

The Smell of Success

Monday, November 18th, 2013 by admin

Leaving summer behind moves families into the joy of comfort foods and holiday baking! We experience new scents, like pumpkin, cinnamon and other wonderful spices that warm us for the colder temperatures.  The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago reminds us that the scent of lemons provides a truly effective boost for our brains! The aroma of lemons stimulates the cerebral cortex, which is the decision-making and problem-solving region of the brain. The extra boost helps us feel more focused very quickly – in as little as 2 minutes, according to recent studies.

Think about adding lemon zest to pancakes or muffins; slicing a lemon to accompany hot tea or a glass of water; or even using lotion with lemon essential oils to provide that extra energy for your sleepy child in the mornings.

Another way to boost the effectiveness of the cerebral cortex is to Brainjog 5-7 minutes, twice a day! Camp Academia and the engaging instructors keep their students’ brains stimulated and growing! Stop by today if you are interested in learning more!

Time Change Advantage!

Monday, November 11th, 2013 by admin

Now that the time change has gone into effect, it’s a perfect opportunity to be reminded about the importance of good sleep. Children require 10-12 hours of sleep each night, and if your child uses a nightlight this research may be of even more interest to you.

A recent study out of Ohio State University found that the color of the nightlight affected the mood of hamsters. The little critters who were exposed to blue or white light at night exhibited more depressive-like symptoms and depression-related changes in the brain than those exposed to red light.

The findings suggest that exposing the brain to brighter light in the sleeping hours could result in negative effects on health. You may even consider changing the bathroom nightlight to a red bulb. “Light at night may result in parts of the brain regulating mood receiving signals during time of the day when they shouldn’t,” Tracy Bedrosian, a co-author of the study, suggested. “This may be why light at night seems to be linked to depression in some people.”

Now that the kids are a bit more willing to go to bed as it turns darker earlier, it is important that parents look after their brain health, even during sleep. Camp Academia has experienced much success with children who have sleep issues. Brainjogging each and every day can improve academic, athletic and emotional health and well-being! 5-7 minutes twice a day is all it takes to improve a child’s brain effectiveness!