Music has this magical ability to inspire, change our mood, the way we think and even how we behave. When listening to music, it can help us tolerate high levels of pain and certain types of music can even boost specific kinds of intelligence. But more often than not, we don’t really give music the kind of credit it deserves. And more specifically, we don’t place an importance on it or its benefits to young children and even babies, within their cognitive development and how we learn. Music can be very effective in helping develop a child’s brain.
It has been proved that even babies can be very sophisticated listeners. While in the womb where they can hear their parents speak, babies can bond with their parent’s voice. If there is a song that is played often while the mother is pregnant, that baby can recognize that song even after birth. Babies can use these familiar songs as a way to calm themselves.
Music is something that even at a young age we can’t help ourselves to engage in. When you hear a song you like, you tape your foot and move to its beat. One of the best activities you can do with your little one at their very young age is participate in musical classes or activity groups.
Studies have shown that babies who participate in interactive music classes tend to smile more, communicate better and show sophisticated brain responses to music.
Music is a great way to connect with your baby and for them to connect with others.
As your child grows older, emphasis on music study starts to become essential to their development and growth. It is amazing how much music can be an influence on how we think and learn. There has been much research on how music can be a powerful tool in helping children focus their attention for long periods of times, helps them develop their speech and reading skills as well as help children develop a sense of empathy for others. Music is truly a powerful tool in helping support learning.
Aids In Language Development
One of the biggest positive effects music has on young children is language development. Children are born ready to learn and try to decode sounds and words early on. With music they are able to enhance these abilities and skills.
Studies have shown that musical training can physically help develop part of the left side of the brain which is also where you learn to process language. Then over time, it becomes the development of language that will in turn enhance the part of the brain that processes music. Musical experience helps strengthen the capacity for language development.
Helps Boost IQ
Many have heard of the Mozart effect. This is the study that claims that you become more intelligent by listening to Mozart’s music. A popular hypothesis is that children who listen to Mozart at a young age will benefit from it greatly in their mental development.
While some of these studies have proved to be true at a temporary level, it has been proven that a small increase in IQ can happen when you are doing the actual studying of music, such as learning how to read notes and how to play them in their sequence.
A study showed that when a group of children who took piano and voice lessons tested an average of 3 IQ points higher than other groups.
Improves Motor Development And Coordination
Not only does music help with speech development it can also improve a child’s motor development and coordination. Music helps pattern the movement of the body, how we move to the beat. It is important that whenever you can engage your child to bounce, dance, swap and clap to the beat of the music or to use music in an active game. This will help them develop their musical creative movement. When they learn to excel at this and do it to the beat, they are able to coordinate the rest of their bodies which can even help them if they play sports.
Helps With Emotional Relaxation
Music also helps increase their emotional awareness.
There are songs that make us feel happy, sad, bring out the best energy out of us and can keep us focused. Music can be a place where children place their emotions. It can be used as a tool to sooth them.
When a child learns to play music, this can also be a very power tool for self-expression. It may be more difficult for a child to articulate in words how they may feel but playing music can give them the vehicle to express themselves in a creative way. Music has the ability to help with stress reduction and can be very soothing. This is why night time lullabies are so effective. It helps baby’s relax and help them develop an ear for music.
Promotes Social Skills
Along with all of these benefits, music also helps strengthen a child’s social skills. It helps children learn how to interact with others well while also making them good listeners. When a child is aware of the relationship between sound and emotion in music, they can also help discern others’ emotional state through their speech.
Learning how to play music also helps them become more confident and have more self-esteem.
Music, when played in a group, can also give them a sense of community as well as help them learn to work with others.
So How Do You Nurture Your Budding Musician?
You can do develop their taste for love even before they are born. You do this by playing songs and even singing to your baby bump. Babies can remember songs even from the womb and can be very soothing to them after they are born. One of the first group activities you can sign up for while your child is a baby is musical activity classes. Find out what is available in your area by contacting your community parks and recs or by asking other parents.
When you surround your child with music they grow a strong relationship with it. When they are older encourage to take up an instrument or sing within a group. This will help out all other aspects of their academic career by improving their spatial coordination, creativity, math skills and even their ability to learn a foreign language. Allow them to experiment with different types of instruments and even through movement with dance classes. Play them all sorts of different types of music. Allow them to choose what they would like to listen to and bring them to musical or classical concerts.
Children can use music to manage stressful situations. With school-related anxiety, music will help them decrease their heart rate, control their breathing and will lower their stress hormones. These obstacles only deter a child’s learning environment. With music, a child can refocus and concentrate on their courses. It helps them clear their mind for a more productive learning.