MUSIC AND EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS – FLEXIBILITY AND FLOW

The research project regarding how music helps the development of the executive functions is continuing, with the researchers of UCL and Harvard University.

As part of the research, UCL asked me to conduct the sessions without speaking and audible direction. Working with 3-4 years old children in a completely free environment it’s really challenging.

Today I felt that something clicked in the children and in me as well. We were naturally flowing between the activities, moving from one to another with no stops, with no need to speak. The children were really engaged by the music, movement and body language.

To lead the sessions with no use of language, I need to use my whole body, my facial expressions and the voice, plus a good amount of creativity and imagination.

“Flexibility” is the word that describes my teaching approach. I plan the session and its steps but then when the group is in front of me, I need to be able to improvise and change my previous plans, basing my choices on the children’s needs.

This kind of sessions is a big learning for me: it requires me to be present at 100%, to think quickly, to improvise. In the meantime, I need to feel relaxed. This is actually the most important point: I cannot make music and teach if I’m not feeling fine because music for me is energy, relaxation, rhythm, flow and they comes just with a sense of positivity and wellness.

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