Today I asked my 13 year old daughter (for whom BLMF was created) if she had any memories of coming to BLMF music class. She began music classes with a large group of friends when she was just 4 months old and when she was a toddler she came to class with her Dad for a period of 2 years. This was when the BLMF program finished at the 3 year course...the preschool courses were written with daughter number 2.
She enthusiastically answered YES! This was great news to me as at the Bigger Better Brains Educator course I recently completely I learned about 'pruning' and when it happens and why. Here's a definition I found which will help explain. In the period of 0-3 years there is an explosion of synapse formation between neurons during early brain development. This is called synaptogenesis. This rapid period of synaptogenesis plays a vital role in learning, memory formation, and adaptation early in life. At about 2 to 3 years of age, the number of synapses hits a peak level. But then shortly after this period of synaptic growth, the brain starts to remove synapses that it no longer needs.
Once the brain forms a synapse, it can either be strengthened or weakened. This depends on how often the synapse is used. In other words, the process follows the “use it or lose it” principle: Synapses that are more active are strengthened, and synapses that are less active are weakened and ultimately pruned. The process of removing the irrelevant synapses during this time is referred to as synaptic pruning. (From https://www.healthline.com/health/synaptic-pruning)
So - I wanted to know if any pruning had taken place and wiped out all those lovely interactive moments she had with me, her Dad and all her friends. Her strongest memories were from when she was just 2 years old. Her favourite memory was our "Yippee" song where parents throw children in the air singing yippee at the end of class. This is a highly energetic, interactive and deliberately bonding activity between parent and child. I still love finishing classes with this energy and happiness and watching child and parent grinning at each other. Due to it's rhythmic beat this song also teaches beat in the body and prediction.
Very happy to say her next memories were two of our opera songs. Our opera song from the Barber of Seville, "teddy bear hide and seek" - she remembers hiding teddies in the room and also remembered, "This Is My Happy Face"..to the tune of La Donne Mobile and the funny acting and faces I would pull during this song.
I'm so happy that music class is one of the happy and probably useful memories that has survived the pruning process given it was so long ago for her now (10 years) She loves playing piano and singing now so I guess she is still using it..not losing it.