205. Encouraging Kids’ Brain Development Through Music, with Emily Cadiz of Finnegan the Dragon

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Today I am very excited to introduce you to Emily Cadiz, founder, and CEO of Finnegan the Dragon. What is Finnegan the Dragon, you ask? Of course, Emily will tell you all about that during our conversation, but here is the short, teaser version. Finnegan the Dragon is a new company I've had the honor of being an advisor for. This is an organization that is all about improving brain development and language learning for kids using inclusive music.

When I was given the opportunity to be part of the advisory team for this company, I knew it was something I had to do. There are so many amazing things on the horizon for Finnegan the Dragon and I am so excited to finally be able to share what Emily and her team are up to so you can learn all about it! Emily will be sharing about all the great work they are doing, exciting milestones coming up (including your opportunity to be a beta tester for the upcoming game launch), and how to get their free Ebook that came out this week. Listen in!

Show Notes:
  • [00:44] Today I am very excited to introduce you to Emily Cadiz, founder, and CEO of Finnegan the Dragon.
  • [03:40] Emily shares about herself and how she got connected to Melina.
  • [05:12] She has always been a service provider, teacher, musician, and public servant before starting her own business.
  • [06:48] She suffered a traumatic brain injury in the classroom, which turned her world upside down.
  • [07:37] During her recovery she found herself going back to music. She started studying how her own brain was recovering through sound and music.
  • [09:01] In her research she stumbled upon inclusive music which is how we use music to strengthen the brain multiple times throughout our lives to either cope, acquire, or realign ourselves with language.
  • [10:29] Going to traditional therapy never helped Emily because it was a reminder to her that she was disabled. Medical interventions can sometimes serve as a consistent reminder that you’re different and that your access point to the world is not the same as everyone else. This was a spark for creating something new with Finnegan the Dragon.
  • [11:51] If we make this work part of the entire curriculum from a very young age everyone can benefit so you don’t have to make anyone feel different.
  • [12:31] Developmentally speaking, stages happen at different rates for different children. Finnegan the Dragon wants to make things accessible for everyone.
  • [14:23] The process of making her brain tired and then letting it repair was the process that music had — it helped her to “sweat” her brain.
  • [16:35] Melina shares her experience taking college music classes during high school.
  • [19:43] There are 1.5 billion people that speak tonal-based languages.
  • [20:56] We can see in a lot of countries where tonal-based languages are dominant or even with people that are studying tonal-based languages, their brains are cognitively able to do things that other brains aren’t.
  • [21:36] The standards for developmental milestones have gone down. We have 33-34% of kindergarteners needing special education interventions coming into the 2022-2023 school year.
  • [23:53] If your child is spending more than 30 minutes a day in front of a screen per day with passive engagement their chances of having ADHD or a mood disorder are increased by 50%.
  • [25:37] Passive screen time is the root cause of a lot of this.
  • [26:54] Passive screen time is silent participation with the screen. Using your finger doesn’t fully activate your brain for learning either.
  • [28:02] There needs to be sound, noise, singing, motion, and movement going on for little ones to really understand how their world works.
  • [30:23] We know it is unreasonable to expect zero screen time (or even less than 30 minutes) so Finnegan the Dragon is an optimized game and accompanying classroom curriculum.
  • [33:10] Little kids have trouble with r’s at that age, we shouldn’t correct them. We can often encourage inappropriate sounds that are very hard to correct down the road.
  • [35:55] Tone is equally important at this age to all of your academic subjects. Tone and language develop at the same rate. If we ignore tone we are not strengthening the brain as much as we should or need to be.
  • [38:20] Music (at home and in schools) are so important for development in all areas of life.
  • [39:41] Meet Finnegan and learn his story in their free ebook, Finnegan the Singing Dragon. He uses music to help him overcome some things he is facing. Get your free ebook.
  • [41:38] It is so important to help our generation of little learners be able to have a fighting chance and help all the children be on a level playing field. Will you support them and Finnegan?
  • [42:35] The Finnegan beta game will be coming out in the fall. Sign up for the newsletter to be first to know when it’s available.
  • [44:24] Melina shares her closing thoughts.
  • [47:00] If you enjoy the experience I’ve provided here for you, will you share about it? That could mean leaving a rating/review or sharing the episode with a friend (or 10!)

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show.

I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation.

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