The Benefits Music Has On Your Child’s Development

“Nothing activates as many areas of the brain as music, this helps in laying a foundation for all later learning and Determines whether or not children succeed in school and later in adulthood. says researcher Donald Hodges, Covington Distinguished Professor of Music Education and director of the Music Research Institute at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 

During the early childhood years, birth through age 5, every moment is an opportunity for children to learn more about the world around them, to practice social skills, and to gain critical thinking skills and knowledge. Early childhood experiences lay the foundation for all later learning and determine whether children succeed in school and later Life.  As well, they acquire a lasting enjoyment of music, and the sensitivity and skills necessary for making music.

Early learning music programmes are specifically designed to assist in the development of your child’s Intelligence, speech, reading, social skills, imagination, determination, concentration, self-esteem, self-discipline, diligence, emotional And self-expression. Listen to the singing, the laughing, and the shouting; the jumping, stomping, and clapping; the exuberant thumping of drums, the rhythmic rattling of maracas, and the festive jingling of bells. Listen to children making music, and it’s easy to hear they’re having fun. What’s not so obvious is that while children are singing and clapping, jumping and wiggling, and shaking and tapping on instruments, there’s a whole lot of learning—and growing—going on.

Children, unlike adults, learn primarily through sound. They naturally focus attention more easily on sound than on visual stimuli. The rhythmic sound of music, in particular, captures and holds children’s attention like nothing else, and makes it a valuable learning tool.
Music education increases children’s intelligence, academic success, social skills, and even physical fitness, in ways that may surprise you.

 Music activities boost brainpower. Numerous studies have shown that participating in musical activities can increase children’s success in school, I.Q. scores, and cognitive skills such as reasoning and memory. In fact, playing and listening to music promote healthy brain development. “Nothing activates as many areas of the brain as music,” says researcher Donald Hodges, Covington Distinguished Professor of Music Education and director of the Music Research Institute at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Music leads to literacy skills. Since music training supports the brain’s ability to process sights and sounds, it may help support emergent literacy skills. Earlier this year, researchers at Long Island University found that music instruction over a three-year period increased children’s vocabulary and verbal sequencing ability—key components in the acquisition of reading and language skills. Since children are naturally drawn to musical activities, music education may be a uniquely effective way to help develop their reading ability. 

Another plus: Music adds to children’s understanding of math. Music is based on mathematical principles and proportions. When young children sing even the simplest songs, they absorb elements of math—repeated, measured patterns of tones, rhythms, and words—without realizing it.
Several studies have confirmed this link. “When children learn rhythm, they are learning ratios, fractions, and proportions,” says Professor Gordon Shaw at the University of California, Irvine, after his study of 7-year-olds in Los Angeles. Increased mathematical reasoning was particularly pronounced in children who received piano instruction. 

Raise your voice
Singing helps children stay strong. Professor Graham Welch of the University of London, who has studied developmental and medical aspects of singing for 30 years, says, “Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the bloodstream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting.” And, emotional well-being.” When children sing in music class, they’re not only having fun, they’re getting a physical workout and reducing stress too!

Music supports self-expression. There’s no right or wrong way to shake maracas or tap a tambourine. There are no rules to follow or complex directions to understand. This is why music education is especially important for English-learning students and special-needs students, who can fully participate in the universal language of music. Music gives children the freedom to think, imagine, and create. The joy of expressing one’s individuality supports every aspect of learning and makes every day more meaningful and fun. Every child needs and deserves the joy of music and the intellectual and physical advantages of a full music-education program. With new research continually adding to the list of its learning and health benefits, music education sounds better and better.

According to Don Campbell, author of The Mozart Effect, tracing neurological development through childhood provides the answer. Prior to a major spurt of neural integration in the brain during the elementary school years, learning occurs through movement and quick emotional associations. For example by age two, the brain has begun to fuse with the body via marching, dancing, and developing a sense of physical rhythm. The more music children are exposed to before they enter school, the more deeply this stage of neural coding will assist them throughout their lives.

Skills learned through music carries over into study skills, communications skills and cognitive skills useful to all parts of life. For example, research supports that music helps prepare the mind for specific disciplines of learning. One such study referenced in a 1997 article in Neurological Research indicated that music training is far superior to computer instruction In dramatically enhancing children’s abstract reasoning skills, the skills necessary for learning math and science. Even our elected officials have realized the importance of music for our children. Recent federal law, No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, states, “Studying music encourages self discipline and diligence traits that carry over into mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history and geography.” 

The facts are that Arts Education… makes a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has proven to help level the “learning field” across socio-economic boundaries. (Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary School, James S. Catterall, The UCLA Imagination Project, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, UCLA, Americans For the Arts Monograph, January 1998) Has a measurable impact on youth at risk in deterring delinquent behavior and truancy problems while also increasing overall academic performance among those youth engaged in after school and summer arts programs targeted toward delinquency prevention. Youth ARTS Development Project, 1996, U.S. Department of Justice, National Endowment for the Arts, and americans for the Don Campell, Author of The Mozart effect.