The Adolescent Brain

I am preparing for a workshop, Reaching The Inner Musician,  I am giving on Saturday, Oct. 30, at Juilliard.  This will be for Pre-College students and their parents and I am looking forward to it. In the next few weeks I will be sharing on this blog what I presented;  today I will write briefly about the adolescent brain.

We all know adolescence is a very difficult time; I know of no adult who would like to repeat this particular time of  life.  Between emerging sexuality; which for many is overwhelming; the search for a separate identity,;new and complicated relationships; academic demands and stress at home; negotiating this period can be difficult.

At the same time, the adolescent brain is in flux; it is exposed to serious hormonal changes and, more importantly, the prefrontal regions don’t fully mature until the mid-twenties.  This makes the important middle prefrontal functions unpredictable. They include regulation of heart rate, respiration and digestion, attunement to others and emotional balance.

Many studies have concluded that consistant meditation effects this area of the brain, making life easier. Even five minutes a day can make a difference.