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Springtime Means It’s Time for 4-H Contests

The 4-H competitive season is exciting and educational. County contests open the door to advancement to district, area, state, and national contests. For the older 4-H’er, especially, achievement in these contests can lead to college scholarships.
The first contests of the season take place during 4-H Night of the Arts. Here Share the Fun (similar to a talent show) and the 4-H Photo and Poster contests take place. The event is on March 13, starts at 7:00 p.m. and takes place at the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center.
Some people may be surprised to hear 4-H has contests in visual and performing arts. And no, we don’t have “Dancing with the Cows”. The 4-H program focuses on youth development, and the arts, especially music, have been shown to enhance a child’s development. In fact, brain imagery of children with music instruction show larger growth of neural activity than children without. According to Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at the Peabody Preparatory of The Johns Hopkins University, brain imagery of children with music instruction show larger growth of neural activity than children without.
Did you know that there is a relationship between music and language development in children?
“The development of language over time tends to enhance parts of the brain that help process music,” says Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. “Language competence is at the root of social competence. Musical experience strengthens the capacity to be verbally competent.”
Would music lessons also have a relationship with STEM? Or is that another side of the brain?
According to Dr. Pruett, music instruction does “improve spatial-temporal skills in children over time.” Spatial-temporal skills are used in solving multi-step problems in engineering, math, and computers.
So it is easy to understand how the performing arts can help with motor skills, concentration, memory, and the ability to multitask.
The 4-H Night of the Arts is open to the public if you would like to come out and witness some of our local 4-H talent.
Source: http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-benefits-of-music-education/