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Life Lessons: Sing your way to success

By Nancy Werteen, Anchor / Reporter, NWerteen@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 10 2014 04:00:00 AM CDT

One woman's passion points to brain research that shows music really does help folks succeed.

Maryann “Mar" Harman grooves all over the globe.

"Music is such a wonderful way to pass on love,” says Harman.

She started out simply singing at playgroups.

"They wanted to buy the songs, which I was making up off the top of my head," Harman explained.

That was 20 years ago, and now she’s taken the show on the road.

"People would google and they’d call me, or email me, and say 'would you come to Mumbai? Will you come to Beijing? Will you come to the Cayman Islands?' And I’m like ‘okay,’ ” Harman said.

Her passion points to brain research that shows music really does help children and adults succeed.

"If you dance once a week, you reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 79 percent,” she said.

Some more findings: infants who were actively trained in music were less frustrated, showed less anxiety about new experiences, smiled and laughed more, and were easier to soothe.

“They're finding more and more that the brain, instead of being left [or] right brain, that we are more holistic of the brain and that music is what ties the pieces together," Harman explains.

That’s music to mother Maricela Duart’s ears.

"The music helps them learn more language,” says Duart.

"All parents care about is if [their] child is getting the tools he or she needs to be successful," Harman said.

She thinks it’s a smart move to get the little ones in tune with their inner rhythm.

The Music with Mar program is being used in China. Harman told us it’s being incorporated into the baby spectrum program.

The Chinese are creating indoor facilities where parents can come with preschoolers to paint, sing, and dance. She also recently trained Chinese teachers.