Early Childhood Music and Movement Association

ECMMA: Early Childhood Music and Movement Association

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Movement Matters

After many years of making music with children, Eve Kodiak, M.M., became interested in the brain/body processes that underlie the learning process. As an Educational Kinesiologist, she now works with people of all ages, using music and developmental movement to create positive change. Eve can be found in her office at The Lydian Center for Innovative Medicine in Cambridge, MA, or at home in New Hampshire, writing and recording. Her CD/book sets include Rappin' on the Reflexes and Feelin' Free, which combine developmental movements with songs, raps, and narrations with music. Eve also performs and records as an improvising classical pianist. More information and articles on music and developmental movement may be found at www.evekodiak.com.


The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily promote official policy of ECMMA.

Devices and Desires I: Concentration

1 Comment

Come see me in March!  I’ll be in Arlington, MA, Sat. March 22, presenting a 75 minute workshop for The Children’s Music Network New England Regional Conference, and in Ljubljana, Slovenia, March 28-30 with a 3 day hands-on workshop. The title is Recognize, Redirect, Release! and the topic is infant reflexes, and integration techniques through music and movement.

I have been writing, in the last two posts, about the ways in which open attention creates the space in which imagination, creativity, and relationship can grow. The observation, interaction, interaction, and creativity that are necessary to fill these “empty boxes” of attention can create neural pathways of unfathomable complexity, growing all over the brain.

When our consciousness is funneled into a device, we are using a much smaller portion of the brain (and eyes, ears, hands, feet, body, mind . . . ) The wide boulevards of imagination are replaced by dot-to-dot trails that lead only one place – or, if we are surfing the web, that continually interrupt one another. There is little room for the mind to make anything up – the senses are simultaneously deprived and overloaded.

There is growing evidence that technology is as addictive as drugs or gambling, reporter Arun Prabhu writes for Buzzle in The Dangers of Technology Addiction. My own guess is that surfing the net, social networking, even just a lot of internet research tends works the same neural pathways that gambling does – always keeping the eye out for an outside chance, waiting for a “hit” – a Facebook “like” – or the next text. Score!

In an interview on NPR’s All Things Considered, Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, says, “Like a lot of people I’d been using the internet more and more over the years, and found it hugely beneficial . . . but a few years ago, I realized that I was basically losing my ability to concentrate . . . I’d sit down with a book, or a long article, and after a couple of pages, my brain wanted to do what it does when I’m online – check email, click on links, do some googling, hop from page to page . . . and that got me looking into the science of the brain . . .

“Over the last few decades, neuroscientists have found that, even as adults, our brains are very malleable . . . so the more time we spend multi-tasking with a lot of interruptions, the more our brains become adept at that – and the more we lose our ability to concentrate.”

It struck me that that was true of me, too. So I took the challenge. I got the book out of the library and started reading it the old-fashioned way – in quiet, without interruption. I’m about halfway through. I’ll finish the book before I write any more about it.

In this age of ever-more-present devices, the gauntlet has been thrown down before us. We are parents and educators of young children. What kind of brains do we want them to grow? What kind of minds and hearts do we want them to have?


Movement Matters Mar 09, 2014

I love your comments! But the spam has increased exponentially, and I can’t filter for the real stuff -
So please, if you write in the comment box, go to my website (www.evekodiak.com), and use the contact form to tell me. I’ll make sure you get heard.
Thanks, Eve

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