Why music is essential to early child development
Today we know more about how children learn and grow than ever before. We have data that confirms our theory that ‘Music is vital for growth and development’. Children are naturally interested in music and music is naturally good for them. Why are children drawn to music and how is it so good for them?
- Music is a language and children are oriented towards learning language. Some babies sing before they speak.
- Music evokes movement and children delight in and require movement to stimulate the vestibular system, nurture balance, motor skills and coordination.
- Music engages the brain while stimulating neural pathways associated with higher forms of intelligence such as abstract thinking, empathy and mathematics.
- Music’s melodic and rhythmic patterns provide exercise for the brain and help develop memory. Who learnt the alphabet without the ABC song?
- Music is an aural art and young children are aural learners. Since ears are fully developed before birth infants are learning through the sounds of their environment prior to birth.
- Music is perfectly designed for training children’s listening skills. Good listening skills are essential to success in structured school learning.
- Age appropriate musical activities involve the whole child – the child’s desire for language, the child’s desire to move, the brain’s attention to patterns, the ear’s lead in initiating communication, the voice’s response to sounds, as well as the hand-eye coordination required to play musical instruments.
- Music involves expression of feelings. It is a creative experience that allows children an avenue to express emotions. It builds confidence and self-esteem.
- Music transmits culture and generations.
- Music is a social activity which involves family and community participation. Children love to sing and dance at home and away, with family and friends.
The following excerpt is from “Music Education Helps Children’s Ability to Learn”, by Dr Anita Collins, Neuromusical Educator and Award Winning Educator, Researcher and Writer in the field of brain development and learning music. October 2018.
“What we now know is that learning a musical instrument and foundation music education skills – such as clapping in time, singing in tune and moving to music – are some of the most complex cognitive activities the brain can undertake. They involve the auditory, motor and visual cortices communicating at an astonishingly fast rate… The list of skills and abilities that music learning develops is still very long, but it has started to be sorted under three main areas: language development, executive skills and social skills development. “
© Wee Make Music 2017