Singing and music play such an important role in our culture. You’ll find music around you in all aspects of your life: theater, television, movies, holidays, celebrations are full of music! At home, we listen to music all the time but little did we know how beneficial it was for our kids.
From birth, as parents, we use music to calm and soothe babies and know that we’d like our kids to be involved in music, but some of us don’t know how. As Parents can build on these natural instincts by learning how music can impact our childs’ development, improve social skills, and benefit kids of all ages.
Music and the Brain: The Benefits of Music
There are many studies that look at the benefits of music on our kids brains and one such study in 2016 at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute, found that musical experiences in childhood can actually accelerate brain development, particularly in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills. Also, according to the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation, learning to play an instrument can improve mathematical learning and even increase entrance exam scores.
But academic benefits are not the upside of music education and listening to music in general. Music has a positive impact on all all areas of child development and helps kids for skills relating to school readiness
: intellectual, social and emotional
, motor, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and the mind work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression. For children and adults, music helps strengthen memory skills.
Infants and Music. Infants recognise the melody of a song long before they understand the words. They often try to mimic sounds and start moving to the music as soon as they are physically able. Quiet, background music can be soothing for infants, especially at sleep time. Babies from 6 months will start to become familiar with repeated music and surroundings and can find a class setting to be very enjoyable. Mums also like this time as babies are a bit more predictable and interact beautifully in a music class.
Toddlers and Music. Toddlers love to dance and move to music. The key to toddler music is the repetition of songs, which encourages the use of words and memorisation. Silly songs make them laugh. Try singing a familiar song and inserting a silly word in the place of the correct word, like “Mary had a little spider” instead of lamb. Let them reproduce rhythms by clapping or tapping objects. Similarly, the familiarity of a music program or class each week is very comforting for toddlers and they love an active music class that involved more than simply sitting and singing!