Brain Power Conference

Members from Kids Can Fly attended the Brain Power Conference held in Toronto May 3 and 4 at the Royal Conservatory of Music.  The conference featured workshops, keynote presentations and demonstrations from teachers and neuroscientists.

The conference was presented by The Brain Power Initiative, a network of parents, scientists and educators exploring how their knowledge of the brain will inform education and childhood development.  Research presented showed that science is transforming childhood development.  The field of neuroscience is showing that it is now possible to train a child’s brain and help to prepare them for lifelong learning. 

 Dr. Sylvain Moreno of Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute in Toronto kicked off the conference.  Moreno is a leading Canadian Scientist working in neuro-education, and has researched that training children in one area can affect unrelated higher order processes like language, memory and intelligence.  He talked about strengthening the brain’s “executive function” this is the part of the brain which helps us manage cognitive processes such as working memory, attention, verbal reasoning and multi-tasking. 

Moreno began his presentation by having the audience stand up.  He played “The Eye of the Tiger” and told everyone to sing and dance to it.  The crowd wasn’t sure what to think of this neuroscientist displaying his Rocky moves on stage, but Moreno was making a point that musical training works. When children sing it has a positive affect on the brain because it’s more than just listening.  Learning an instrument also has a direct impact on memory, attention and intelligence.

During Moreno’s research he used a fun computer based music program featuring cartoons and games. After only 20 days of classroom instruction pre-schoolers were able to boost their verbal IQ scores some five times more than kids who received a program not based on musical concepts.

I have attached the following article for more information on “Training the Brain”. It’s fascinating the new research we are hearing about and there are a lot of useful tips in this following article.