Have you noticed that where there is a group of children, music is often playing? Shops and doctors who focus on children tend to play music that appeals to them. Music can also be found in many classrooms, not to mention in children’s homes and even on kids phones. Music brings kids together and helps develop their social and emotional skills.
Since we want our kids to be socially and emotionally well-rounded, we need to understand how music can help children develop these skills. First we’ll look at social development and then we’ll look at emotional development.
- Music connects children who may not otherwise discover they have anything in common. Sharing a love for certain types of music creates an almost automatic bond. It helps provide children with a framework on which they can socialize.
- Children respond to music. Try playing some in your home and see what happens! Kids may move closer to talk , creating a more “social” space. They may also express a need to move or dance which encourages them to interact with others.
- Music can help kids and parents relate to each other by creating a relaxed atmosphere for communication or shared activities.
- Babies respond to music, too. Maybe this is why parents instinctively sing to their infants. When we sing to babies, it provides a sort of communication between you and the baby. This can lay the groundwork for effective verbal communication when your baby gets older.
- Participating in music – either as dancing, studying, or playing an instrument – gives children a sense of confidence that they take into their interpersonal relationships. Confident kids tend to attract friends!
- Music can provide an emotional outlet for children. This can be in the form of playing an instrument or dancing to music. It can also involve drawing or writing poems to music.
- The effects of music on mood are well-known, and these effects hold true for children too. Children can learn to manage their feelings by listening to music to calm them down, give them energy, or help lift their mood.
- Recognizing emotions is another way that music helps children develop emotional intelligence. Music helps kids to “hear” what certain feelings sound like, and they can learn to tell what emotion is evoked by a particular piece of music. It helps them get “in touch” with what they are feeling.
- Appropriate self-expression springs from a sense of self, and music (especially early music education) can help immensely with this.
- The lyrics of songs can also help children understand complex emotions related to specific events or situations.
These are only a few of the ways that interaction with music can help to develop your child’s social and emotional skills. Remember, the more “practice” your child gets, the more easily these concepts will be understood. Try incorporating music into your child’s life where appropriate and watch as your child blossoms.
Need help teaching social skills and emotions to young children? The songs on these albums are great to teach to your kids at home or in the classroom.