Investigating feasibility and acceptability
of using Supermemory Music in Reading Classroom
Written By Herri Mulyono
Benefits of Supermemory Music
The idea of using music in language classroom has been known for years. This idea is directed by some proofs that music might lower the degree of anxiety, increase motivation, promote interest, contribute to enjoyment, and stimulate the memory response (Stansell, no year, p.1). Stansell reports that music might assist students in learning language. He also notes that music would help students in optimizing vocabulary learning, proper accent, and grammar as well.
In a process of learning, certain kind of music has been used to improve particular areas of language field such as vocabulary. Classical music seems to bridge this purpose. Furthermore, some slow baroque music which Navakov and Lozanov call as supermemory music are committed to accelerate learning foreign language (Ostrander and Schroeder, 1994, p.71-74). Lozanov also proves that certain music has an amazing effect on learning foreign language. His finding shows that particular baroque music contributes more than 85% efficiency to learning foreign language (O’Donnell, 1999, p.3).
Many researches have found some great effects of classical music such as baroque music (called as supermemory music) on brain development. Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary defines baroque as extravagant style in the arts in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In other words, baroque music might be said as outstanding works of music composed in Europe in 17th and 18th centuries. Composers such Vivaldi, Telemann and Bach are well known for their extraordinary works of this baroque music.
It is obvious that baroque music affects human’s brain. O’Donnell reports that baroque music might turn the heart beat and pulse into relaxation. As the body turns to relax and alert, the brain, then, will be able to optimize its functions. Lozanov (1978) states this condition as psychorelaxation. Furthermore, research has found that the rhythm of baroque music might synchronize both left and right hemisphere of the brain (Ostrander and Schroeder, 1994, p.68). In other words, the music activates the left and right part of the brain. This synchronization, then, will energize brain’s activities, and make the brain highly productive. In addition, the synchronization of the left and right hemisphere of the brain will lead into relaxed body and alert mind in which both are ideal states for optimal achievement. Hence, we may assume that brain will absorb information easier and more efficient while it is in a calm state. This condition, of course, will be helpful in learning activities.
In addition, some baroque music might be used to enhance memory. Many researches and studies have been conducted to prove such as this idea. O’Donnell (1999) says that besides maximizing learning, simultaneous action of both left and right brain also assists people to keep new information gained. The brain will also have more capability to process the information. From Lozanov’s researches, Ostrander and Schroeder (1994) say that the music might strengthen students’ memory in classroom.
Considering the great effects of some baroque music, Lozanov named the music as supermemory music. The term supermemory music, then, will be used in further description. It also refers to some baroque music with around 60 beats per minute.
The secret of amazing effects of supermemory music places on its ingredients. Many composers of supermemory music ascertain people that particular elements in the music might connect them to a powerful energy. Supermemory music with only around 60 – 64 beats per gives best result and help memory improve globally (Ostrander and Schroeder, 1994, p.72). It is because the rhythm of the music is able to adjust brain’s pattern. Hoffman supports this idea by his saying that 60 to 64 beats per minute is an ideal pace for human heart at rest. As we noticed above, the relaxed body and alert mind are ideal states for optimal accomplishment.
Furthermore, frequencies of supermemory music contribute significant effects on the brain. Dr. Capel notes that different frequency of music (sound) might influence neurotransmitter, brain’s chemical messenger. For instance, frequency 10 Hertz increases the production of Serotonin. Serotonin is chemical messenger that causes human relax and ease pain. Physician found that human could only hear frequencies 20 to 20,000 Hertz. As we know that brain will lose its ability when its energy decreases. Interestingly, Tomatis says that sound with frequencies 5,000 to 8,000 might supply new energy into the brain. It may be assumed that brain gets its “fresh nutrition” from sound (Ostrander and Schroeder, 1994). In addition, the fastest supply emerges from frequency 8,000 hertz. It means frequency 8,000 might recharge “brain batteries” properly. This frequency, then, is known as ultrahigh-frequency. Research has found that brain goes to relax and gets its new energy after listening to such as high frequency music. The richest ultrahigh-frequency seems to be found in Mozart’s outstanding works, Tomatis adds. Mozart’s works contribute frequencies 7,000 to 8,000 Hertz to human’s brain. Hence, the later experiment is going to employ such Mozart’s works.
Supermemory music seemingly has emerged to be an influencing element in language learning as Lozanov found his successful method known as suggestopedia (known also as Superlearning in America). The method includes musical accompaniment in which it might accelerate learning. The supermemory music in Lozanov’s study has contributed more than 85% efficiency to language learning (O’Donnell, 1999, p.3). Larsen-Freeman sees the music in Lozanov’s suggestopedia as it might suggest that learning is an easy and pleasant activity (Larsen-Freeman, 1986, p.79). She also adds that the integration of both conscious and unconscious states as the effect of the music enhances learning. Hence, Mora’s conclusion suggests that both music and language should be used together in EFL (English as a foreign language) classroom.
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