Kids seem to have a natural pull toward music. Even before birth they kick and move to sounds and musical stimuli. During the early years their interest in music only increases. It’s no surprise that musical instruments are often a mainstay in preschool, kindergarten, and elementary classrooms. As a parent, you may give your children music lessons intuitively realizing that music can help your child, in many ways!
Here we will discuss a few ways music can help your child learn, grow, and thrive. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the term music is not always reserved for the sounds that come from traditional musical instruments. In some cases things such as chants, rhymes, or other organized sound sequences can also be included in the broader term.
1. Stimulates Brain Development
The human brain begins to grow around during the 5th week of pregnancy and continues to develop for many years. That’s a lot of time when music can help stimulate brain growth! Throughout the early years, music “training” or lessons helps to facilitate complex neurological activities that are necessary for high-level functions. This includes language processing, reasoning, problem-solving, and many other skills.
2. Enhances Learning & Remembering
Before the printed word was widely available, people learned through songs, verses, and stories. Bards and musicians would carry stories and songs from town to town sharing news and events with the people. The rhythm of the story or song helped everyone to remember the message.
Setting key information to music and rhyme is a very helpful way to make it memorable. That’s why your kids can remember the fast food commercial’s jingle and the Alphabet song. This method can also be applied to educational material for an additional advantage. 😉
3. Creates Cultural Awareness
Studying and listening to music opens children’s eyes to other cultures, past and present. It helps them appreciate the societies and people of various times and places. Few things reflect a culture’s essence like its music. Just think of all the reasons there are to sing or play music, from happy occasions to sad and everything between!
Let’s not forget that kids can learn about their own cultural heritage. Through the music of their ancestors as well as the personal preferences of their family members, children can gain a sense of pride and belonging.
4. Inspires Confidence
You may not think of music as a confidence builder but it can do just that. This can be accomplished in several ways. Two of these are by learning to play or sing music and the other is by listening and relating to empowering or “feel good” songs.
Playing a musical instrument fosters a sense of accomplishment. As children develop the skills involved, they gain confidence in their abilities. The message or information in a song can also inspire confidence if an emotional connection is made.
5. Builds & Promotes Social Skills
The ability to play an instrument may give kids the opportunity to make music with others in a band or orchestra. Even if your child isn’t interested in playing an instrument, there are many other ways they can be a part of the process such as by singing, writing or in one of the support roles. Learning that your individual contribution enhances the group effort is a very important social skill.
6. Forms and Establishes Mental Pictures
The study of music helps children learn to visualize abstract concepts, creating a strong sense of spatial relationships. This helps with problem-solving as well as practical skills, like properly loading up a backpack.
7. Provides Emotional Outlets
Playing and listening to music may provide a much-needed emotional outlet or mode of self-expression for children. When kids have difficulty expressing their feelings, aren’t sure how they feel, or just want to explore
8. Encourages Self-Discipline
This crucial life skill is often lacking these days. Music study can help a great deal – if a child wants to be good at the instrument he or she plays, then he must practice…a lot. Children who practice and reap the rewards learn the value of hard work and patience.
9. Inhibits Boredom
Music will never get boring or grow irrelevant and stale! Music is always evolving and changing and growing, and your child will always have something new to discover, listen to, and play on his or her instrument.
10. Motor Development & Coordination
Music helps pattern the movement of the body. Usually, small muscles (small motor) are used when playing an instrument but music can also help to develop large motor skills. This can be evidenced during dancing and even in marching or walking. When walking for exercise, people often listen to music to help them keep a specific pace. Faster music encourages a quicker pace.
11. Develops Listening Skills
Music encourages the ability to listen which in turn affects concentration. Songs encourage speech and auditory discrimination. Through music, children learn to hear tempos, dynamics, and melodies. Listening for loud and soft, up and down, fast and slow encourages auditory development in the brain.
As you can see, music can benefit your child in many ways. The 11 listed here are just a sample. Whether children play an instrument, assist in creating music in some way, listen to music or respond to it in some way, music can help your child to develop skills in different areas.
Has music helped your child or can you see a way that one of the above ways could be helpful to you? Let us know by adding a comment below!