The Benefits of Audio Storytelling on Your Imagination
Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." And Napoleon...
Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." And Napoleon said, "Imagination rules the world." These were men of enormous accomplishment and lauded by many as geniuses. So, if they thought so much of the power of imagination, it must have some merit.
Jesus himself often spoke in parables, knowing that communication is always most effective when found in story form. Could you imagine a story about the mustard seed and not being able to imagine what that story is about and how it applies to every day. And if that's the case, we as parents (and grandparents) have a real dilemma on our hands when it comes to our children's future.
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Let me explain. Our children are living in a world that is increasingly bombarding them with visual imagery. And the effect of all this visual imagery (television, video games, online videos, etc.) and all other kinds of image-based "education" and entertainment really create a world that's highly artificial. And this highly artificial world, quite literally...Shuts Down Their Imagination!
And that's a real problem, because, as The Wall Street Journal stated in an article titled, The Power of Magical Thinking, "...Imagination is necessary for learning about people and events we don't directly experience, such as history or events on the other side of the world. For young kids, it allows them to ponder the future, such as what they want to do when they grow up."
And our school system is not helping the situation at all. As one prominent educator put it, "... excessive visual stimulation is destroying the minds of our children. Unfortunately, the single greatest casualty is the child's imagination." So what can we (as parents) do to protect our children from this force-fed, brain-numbing visual onslaught? That's where a revolutionary form of audio learning (called audio theatre) comes in. Audio theatre--just like reading, but in a more fun, entertaining and engaging way--allows children to tap into, exercise and build their imagination by letting them create their own self-generated visual images and mental movies which are then played in the theatre of their mind!
The audio theatre format lends itself to learning and thinking, not to mention mental and spiritual growth. This is especially true compared to video. And here's why: Audio actually activates the left (or thinking) side of the brain. On the other hand, vivid visual stimulation by contrast shuts down a child's ability to think and instead activates (through the right side of the brain) the child's pleasure seeking side. This is especially true of well-done, graphically-strong visual stimulation where video does all the creative work for the child...leaving NOTHING to the imagination and NOTHING for the brain to do! Simply put, audio learning--in the audio theatre format--creates a whole different (better) type of brain chemistry.
I run a medium-sized technology and information publishing company in the Midwest. I am, perhaps like you, a parent (and grandparent). And, over the last decade or so I have become increasingly concerned about where our country (and the world) is headed in general... but specifically... as it relates to our children. So much so, over the past couple of years I undertook [the Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty] project to help counter all the negative programming our kids are being bombarded with on a daily basis... especially the mind-numbing visual programming.
Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Bill Heid. Bill is the Executive Producer of the audio drama series, The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty from Heirloom Audio Productions. This article was written on June 13, 2014 and was originally published at hentyalive.com. It has been re-printed here with the author's permission.