The curiosity with which infants stare at musical toys gives us an idea of how impactful music is for young minds. You may think that music is nothing more than fun and a pastime hobby for children when growing up, but nothing could be further from the truth. Children learn and develop several cognitive abilities solely from listening to and practicing certain rhymes.
Music is a part of almost everyone’s daily lives. Nature has its very own music as well. Maybe this daily exposure is the reason why parents instinctively hum and sing different tunes and songs to their kids. Infants and toddlers find music to be soothing. Since the beginning of time, mothers have sung lullabies to their babies to calm them down. This strong effect of music is found not only in infants but children of all ages.
Holistic development and learning through music means that rhymes and rhythm activate various mental functions in kids at once. For example, kids instinctively move to the beats of music, activating their motor neurons. Some musical beats make them happy, triggering the brain’s emotional response.
Nursery rhymes can also activate parts of their brain responsible for the development of language and memory. Music teaches a variety of non-verbal skills to children. Music education is a necessary part of the early childhood education curriculum in different countries as it engages children in an inspiring way. Developed countries around the world are introducing music classes for kids because of the essential role it plays in the holistic learning and development of children.
Music helps your children in the following ways;
1. Improves Lingual Abilities
Early exposure to nursery rhymes has proven to improve the language skills of children. Toddlers (even when they are unable to speak properly) begin to hum and copy the rhymes that they listen to repeatedly.
The repetition of words in nursery rhymes makes them learn and memorize new words quickly. It widens a child’s vocabulary and teaches them how to use language correctly. Improved vocabulary helps children read and comprehend with greater fluency. The nursery rhymes familiarize children with language patterns. Overall, music enhances the linguistic abilities of children.
2. Boosts Self-esteem
For generations, music teachers, child care providers, and parents have known that music benefits children by creating an outlet for them. It provides an emotive and artistic platform for children to express their individuality. Research has shown that being in a music class makes children extroverted and more open to new experiences. They interact more with other children even when without speaking a word. These new friendships hugely boost their self-image; playing a musical instrument and being good at it gives children a sense of accomplishment, which increases their confidence tremendously.
3. Communication Skills
Music improves vocabulary and enunciation, which in turn enables children to communicate effectively. By contributing to their psychological and emotional well-being, it helps every child make diverse perceptions and engage in creative thinking.
As music classes make children extroverted, they learn to play and work together. Teamwork is an essential social skill in school as well as in the real world. Often, children having communication and socialization difficulties shed their shells and shine through music classes. It helps these kids to connect holistically with different parts of their brains and express themselves better.
4. Development Of The Brain
Music helps in the development of the brain and cognition. It forms new neural connections in the brain, affecting the part responsible for cognitive functioning, rationality, decision-making, logic and reasoning. Learning new instruments improves the social, mental, and emotional development of children. It has also been shown to improve the mathematical abilities of children.
The repetition of words in nursery rhymes improves their memory, while the song structures promote fondness to learn more. The tunes of songs develop auditory skills in children, which are essential because they help them hear, distinguish and then manipulate these sounds to read and spell words. Even nonsensical rhymes can help a child learn sound patterns.
Rhymes and songs are some of the best ways to develop auditory skills in children. Music, when paired with movement, improves a child’s sensory development. Toddlers love to explore the world and learn about the environment in multisensory ways. Music allows them to do that in a fun way.
5. Advanced Body Movements
Scientists believe that in young kids, movement unlocks creativity. Creativity is a developmental process. All children express it differently. When children come up with unique and creative dance moves to a specific song or rhyme, they are not only expressing their creative genius but also advancing their motor skills.
Motor skills are developed during musical activities in various ways and are essential for learning to read and write. Even babies as young as four months old respond to music by moving up and down. The music’s rhythm urges them to move even though their movements are not rhythmic at all.
Music helps develop both fine and gross motor skills.
Fine motor skills, like tightened grip, grasping objects, and finger movements, can be developed by playing instruments, whereas large muscle skills can be strengthened by playing music games, larger instruments, and dancing.
Children also learn coordination, teamwork, and problem-solving when dancing in groups or planning choreographed routines. Research on the relationship between music and movement over the last ten years has only further confirmed the positive effects of music on brain development and holistic learning. The rhythm and beat of songs and rhymes stimulate the minds of young kids, enabling them to recognize auditory patterns.
Music and musical activities develop language, cognitive, reading, and mathematical abilities. So far, researchers have found no negative aspect of introducing music in a child’s life early on. Children are naturally attracted to the beat of the music because it’s a fun activity that makes them feel good and helps them in holistic learning and development.
It’s imperative to make music classes a part of the curriculum in all countries. These classes will help children understand and connect with their emotions while teaching them team spirit and resilience. If you introduce music into your child’s life, even without the intent of teaching them anything, they’d still have fun. In short, there is no harm in a little bit of music.