Music stimulates all areas of a child’s development: intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and the mind to learn how to work together. Exposing children to music helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills and explore their bodies, while allowing them to develop self-expression. For children and adults, music helps strengthen memory skills. It is amazing how music can cause short, but mostly long term benefits to those who are regularly exposed to it. Music gets deep into our mind and opens a different level of self-expression and creativity.
We are used to it. It is around us almost every minute. It is responsible for enhancing our mood, our feelings, and it is even able to change the way we behave in our day to day life. Music… the combination of sounds and silences arranged in a certain way that makes them unique.
Sound and rhythm are the very first things that we hear in our life. The sound and pulse of mum’s heart that we perceive in the womb is our very first interaction with music.
In the early years of our life, the sound of a lullaby or even the humming noise of our beloved ones are enough to make us feel comfortable and safe. For a little person all these sounds are completely new as they do not have any sense or knowledge of them, and the connection to a specific concept before that moment didn’t exist. The moment they discover and explore an instrument or a sound generates a series of positive changes in their development, in both the short and long term.
It is scientifically proven that early exposure to music or to a second language activates specific brain processes and neural connections that help the brain to develop a quicker response and a faster assimilation towards new concepts and ideas.
Also it is proven that a person who is regularly exposed to music possesses developed initiative and creativity to deal with problem solving. To be in constant contact with a wide range of sounds and melodies provides an endless quantity of resources that get stored in our memory, and then get re-used to create brand new ideas from them.
The developmental level that our aural and neuro system achieves with the embrace of music as a common practice, is remarkable and considerably higher than someone who is not exposed to it. The earlier we approach music in our life, the easier it is for us to embrace it as something ‘normal’ that always existed for us.
For parents, here are some positive facts about music in a child’s development:
Early musical training helps develop brain areas involved in language, reasoning and memory
Students of the arts learn to think creatively and to solve problems by imagining various solutions, rejecting outdated rules and assumptions.
They develop certain facility for maths and sciences, and can achieve higher grades in school.
A study of the arts provides children with an internal glimpse of other cultures and teaches them to be empathetic towards the people of these cultures. This development of compassion and empathy.
Music study enhances teamwork skills and discipline.
Music provides children with a means of self-expression.
Music performance teaches young people to conquer fear and to take risks. A little anxiety is a good thing, and something that will occur often in life. Learning how to deal with nerves early and often makes it less of a problem later.
Music is fun and enjoyable!
If you are interested in trying an early musical approach with your child, have in mind the “Little Musicians” class that runs every Tuesday, 9:30am at Ponsonby Community Centre. The children have access to a wide range of instruments and the objective of the class is for them to make live music and also explore the wide range of sounds available at the time.