Everyday Music Ignites All Areas of Child Development
My first-born turned out to be twins. Stepping into parenthood times two was overwhelming to say the least! I'd heard it all "Double Trouble", "You'll have your hands full", "I could never do twins!" I mean, they were right, having two babies to take care of at the same time was HARD! But the thing I wasn't prepared for, was the sheer amount of joy they would bring into my life! I like to tell people now that twins are double the work, but triple the blessings!
I would say that I probably spent the most amount of time reading, singing and playing with my boys. We had a blast together! We loved going to story time at the library and practicing the songs at home. We went to music class together, and would rock out to kids music in the car. I knew then, that music was important to a child's development, but I didn't fully comprehend all of the benefits that we were gaining because of it.
Benefits of Incorporating Music in Early Childhood:
- It helps the body and mind work TOGETHER! Music can stimulate parts of the brain that are related to reading, math, and emotional development.
- Music can improve your memory! "Further research has shown that participation in music at an early age can help improve a child's learning ability and memory by stimulating different patterns of brain development," says Maestro Eduardo Marturet, a conductor, composer and musical director for the Miami Symphony Orchestra.
- Singing encourages oral language skills. It can help us to learn the sounds and meaning of words. “When you look at children ages two to nine, one of the breakthroughs in that area is music’s benefit for language development, which is so important at that stage,” says Mary Luehrisen. While children come into the world ready to decode sounds and words, music education helps enhance those natural abilities.
- Moving to music develops children’s coordination, flexibility, self-expression, physical fitness, and natural sense of rhythm. Playing music for infants proves that, even at an early age, children sway, bounce, or move their hands in response to music they hear. Playing rhythm instruments strengthens eye–hand coordination and body awareness as children play high and low, slow and fast, and loudly and softly.
For toddlers and preschoolers, music making can be a dynamic social learning experience.
This may include learning cooperation, sharing, compromise, creativity, and concentration - skills that become invaluable as they enter school, face new challenges, and begin to form new friendships and new social skills.
Music aids in relaxation and stress reduction. It can calm and soothe everyone from infants to adults.
Music enhances creativity!
Looking for easy ways to incorporate more music into your child's life? Sing with them! "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", "The Itsy Bitsy Spider", "Old McDonald" are all simple enjoyable songs that kids love to sing. Make up songs and encourage them to do the same. My kids love it when we make up silly songs about their names. As they get older, we incorporate rhyming words into our games. Switch up the music on your playlist to include songs that are kid friendly. Trust me, there's a lot of annoying kid songs out there and "Let it Go" is starting to sound like nails on a chalk board, but there is a lot of great kids music as well that won't get on your nerves so much. I especially like Mr. Michael and Mr. Eric from "The Learning Groove". Laurie Berkner has some really fun songs, if you haven't heard her song "The Goldfish" you need to! For Halloween, we found a Hip Hop "Spooky Wheels on the Bus" that all of the kids got a kick out of. Your kids will love hearing songs geared for them, and you'll instantly be recognized with Rock Star Status when you do. Have impromptu dance parties. All kids love dancing, and they be thrilled seeing you dance too! Purchase or make your own musical instruments. You would be surprised how much entertainment a plastic bowl and a wooden spoon can provide! Sign them up for music classes! Mountaintop Learning has new sessions that start every month. Lastly, don't stress if your child doesn't sing or dance the same as their friends his/her age! All children are going to learn and express themselves uniquely. My twins are so different in the way they experience music. One of them literally bounced up and down when he heard music, he has always loved singing and FEELING the music. The other, would rarely sing out loud, would rather watch than participate in classes, but has always loved playing instruments and picking out the notes in a rigid, scientific way. There's no right or wrong way to experiencing music, what matters is taking the time to enjoy it.