Memory and rest
Today neurosciences reveal that what was learned during the day is consolidated in the
brain/memory while we sleep. It is during deep sleep that the brain’s mechanisms
elaborate and archive the acquired knowledge. And the lack of adequate rest at the
right time does not allow the memorization of what has been learned.
The frontal cortex which facilitates attention, and the corpus callosum which
communicates the two cerebral hemispheres are stimulated by music, and this
contributes to processing the acquired knowledge.
Breathing and relaxation techniques used in the Holistic Learning Method, facilitate and
promote a good rest and a deep sleep which collaborates with learning and memory as
well as stimulates the hippocampus brain´s area which participates in the formation of
all types of memory. – ensuring faster and more effective learning.
Memory, Physical Exercise and Breathing
Until recently, it was believed that age-related cognitive decline was totally unavoidable.
Currently, scientific studies have shown that functioning of the brain can show positive
changes in response to exercise, adequate breathing, diet and social and environmental
Physical exercise and rhythmic breathing stimulate both the area of the hippocampus in
the brain (involved in the formation of short- and long-term memory) and the prefrontal
cortex, located in the anterior part of the brain which works on solving complex
problems and influences learning ability.
According to the possibilities and preferences of each student, in Holistic Learning we
may use walking, stretching exercises, rhythmic breathing, singing and/or dancing to
stimulate these areas in the brain and promote memory and favour learning processes.
Memory, Music and Singing
Music enters the brain and stimulates it entirely in a very special way. First, it activates
both sides of the auditory cortex, then the nucleus accumbens releases dopamine
which produces an immediate pleasant sensation of well-being. It also stimulates the
hippocampus which is where memory is processed to be stored in the long term, and
the amygdala that has to do with processing emotions. And when an emotion is positive
the memories are better fixed and stored in the brain.
In addition, recent studies reveal that information stored by music is protected in the
brain and is the last information to be lost in cases of Alzhimer. Because it is stored in
another area of the brain (cingulate gyrus) different from the rest of the other
On the other hand, singing is not only fun, It also stimulates concentration, focus and
improves attention span. When singing, the cardiovascular system is activated and
blood circulation and lung capacity are increased, which stimulates brain oxygenation.
As a result, more areas are activated in the brain and alertness level increases, which is
reflected in better attention and concentration.
Singing is an excellent exercise to activate both brain hemispheres and stimulate
neuroplasticity. According to neuroscientists, singing regularly favors the development
of some brain processes, while increasing the number of synapses and improving
connectivity between neurons.
The voice and the emotions have a close relationship. When people express
themselves aloud, they feel more confident about themselves. At the same time, singing
encourages self-awareness and contact with others. According to the researchers, this
is because singing stimulates oxytocin ( happiness hormone) which reduces stress and
anxiety levels and promotes a feeling of tranquility and pleasure, while reducing the
production of cortisol (stress hormone).
Singing is also a great exercise for pronunciation when studying a language.
Neuroscientific studies have found that while singing the connectivity between neurons
is strengthened. And new neural connections are created in all areas of the brain,
especially the prefrontal region, where the higher cognitive functions, including
language are settled.
Music and singing are fundamental pillars of Holistic Learning
Beyond the personal musical talent that each student may have or not, singing songs in
the language they are learning not only stimulates brain functions which lead to faster
and more effective learning and exercise pronunciation, but they are also introduced to
the cultures which speak these languages thus reaching a deeper understanding of
I have been teaching English and Spanish to people of all ages around the world
and it is really fulfilling to see them learning with ease and happiness. Hope you
are the next one!
See you! Carmen