Mind Machines Challenges The Education Establishment To Adopt Light And Sound Machines To Enhance Student Leaning


In the field of education, light and sound or sound only brainwave focus instruments are used to create a positive learning atmosphere. The specific goals include: promoting the ability to learn through relaxation, enhancing motivation and visualization skills, and increasing the ability to maintain focus.

Light and sound, whether for retaining new information or overcoming test anxiety, can be a beneficial educational tool. But it can do more. It can show you how to improve your focus just by experiencing a session on a routine basis (routine meaning using the unit two or three times per week minimum).  Think of using light and sound on a routine basis as a form of brain exercise. You should become aware of increased mental clarity and efficiency with less mental fuzz. Outside distractions and brain chatter should decrease. And expect mental confusion to be replaced with a sense of having everything “mentally” organized.

The only problem that I have run into with light and sound and schools are the administrators. They are very hesitant to try newtechnologies, which for various reasons is certainly understandable. Teachers need new technology that is successful at increasing the academic performance of students. We have proven that light and sound can satisfy this need. But if the administrators say no, then both teachers and students suffer. Because of this problem, we began utilizing sound only stimulation.

This is a safe, cost-effective way to achieve specific brain states. The instrument we used for generating sound frequencies was the Virtual 515.Teachers find that conducting their classroom activities while simultaneously playing the 515 at very low volume enables their students to be entrained in a more relaxed state of awareness. As various research studies have proven, students in a relaxed state are capable of assimilating and retaining more information than students who are in excited or anxious states.

There are two ways teachers and students use the 515. For personal use, where the listener will be stationary, headphones are the preferred choice. If the listener will be moving around or there are several individuals listening simultaneously, then stereo (or amplified or computer) speakers work best. Sessions two, three and four of the 515 were designed to enhance academic performance. And the audio frequencies generated need not be played loud to be effective. The volume of the 515 should be about the same as the “hum” of a flourescent light.

Let us now examine the ways alpha light and sound/sound only sessions can enhance academic performance. Test anxiety can be a real pain when you are trying to learn new information. Brain chatter, mental fuzz and fatigue can all factor in destroying any gains you make while preparing. What can you do? A simple relaxation (alpha) session lasting no longer than fifteen minutes. One before and one after your study session should improve your learning abilities. Examples of using light and sound to overcome test anxiety can be found in “Mind States: An Introduction to Light and Sound Technology” by Michael Landgraf.

If you are a student or are studying for a promotional exam, try utilizing alpha frequency sessions. You should find that any test anxiety you are experiencing will be decreased or negated altogether. And remember that alpha sessions can be highly beneficial before, during (with sound only or with open-eyed LED frames on your light and sound unit)and after studying.

One of the most effective methods for studying or preparing for an exam is to use an alpha or theta session with an accompanying audio CD. This audio cd is recorded by you, with the notes and information for your test spoken by you. Many times the mind will tune out a voice for any number of reasons, but research suggests that by recording the information in your own voice, your mind will listen.

This is a good study technique because you first review your notes before recording, then review them during recording, plus how many other times you listen to the tape while you run a light and sound session. Try a theta session before trying alpha while playing your CD as theta is the “learning” state. However, keep in mind that we are all different, so if theta does not feel right, then try alpha. Your goal for using light and sound with your personal CD should be the assimilation of new information with high memory retention. Do not overdo these study sessions. Try to take a ten to fifteen minute break for every hour you study.

Steve B. is a certified Resource Specialist and Special Education Teacher in a major Southern California school district. We began a program utilizing light and sound for his hyperactive and learning disabled students.

Many of Steve’s students are bused from outlying areas and still others are from one-parent homes with little or no supervision. Oftentimes they are not prepared for school, which makes Steve’s responsibility of teaching them that much more difficult. Light and sound has helped. We have used, over the course of this program, such light and sound instruments as the Delight by Mind Alive,, the Proteus by Mindplace and the PR2-X by MindGear. All three of these units have quality learning sessions.. We have also used the Virtual 515 sound only brainwave frequency sessions for creating the desired classroom atmosphere.

What we have observed from Steve’s students as they use light and sound is the hyperactive students have been able to complete assignments without losing focus, and they are able to stay on task for longer periods and focus their concentration on a given skill. These students were bound by their disability in the past and their self-esteem suffered. Some students are now eager to learn as they are beginning to recognize their capabilities. Many have learned to reduce their stress and anxieties, resulting in a mind set more conducive to learning. Reducing stress and practicing relaxation as a skill has also been a vehicle to help students transcend problems at home that cause road blocks to learning.

One student in particular, who was having a hard time controlling his temper at home, came to me one day and with a very big smile described how light and sound enabled him to realize when his anger at others would begin to develop.

Unfortunately, his anger was usually directed at his grandmother, because she was there when he would arrive home each day from school. That day when he arrived home, instead of getting mad at his grandmother, he went up to his bedroom and laid down for a few minutes. As he was lying there, he closed his eyes and remembered how he felt when he was doing a light and sound session. This enabled him to calm down and relax. Then he went back downstairs and hugged his grandmother.

Both Steve B. and I have been pleasantly surprised by how many parents have come up to Steve and said “We don’t know exactly what you are doing with our children, but their behavior at home has gotten better. Please keep it up.” Remarks like that make sponsoring light and sound programs worth it.

So whether you own a light and sound mind machine or a sound only system, utilize the theta sessions while you study. The benefits include: improved focus on the task at hand, increased memory retention and a reduction in anxieties associated with taking tests.