Do you sing to your child often or do activities together that involve music? If you do, congratulations! You are aiding in your little one’s overall development and well-being.
Experts say that the earlier you fill your child’s life with music, the more enriching and rewarding it will be. Here are tenbenefits of music for preschoolers and older kids:
1. Music makes children smarter
“It exercises our entire brain,” says seasoned educator Jeannie Castillo, the Director and Exclusively Authorized Distributor of Kindermusik in the Philippines.
“When children participate in active music-making, every part of their brain is stimulated, activating full brain potential and exercising their mental muscle in a way that no other activity can. The structured, organized patterns of music exercise our logical left side of the brain, while the artistic, inspired beauty of music exercises our creative right side of the brain,” she explains.
2. Music gets youngsters moving
Isn’t it the cutest when very young children hear “dancey” music and they instantly nod their heads and wiggle and waggle gleefully? Well, music isn’t just compelling and stimulating; it helps children stay fit in mind and body too.
“By participating in music and movement activities, children are able to develop important skills like balance, coordination, strength, and motor control in a fun and playful way,” confirms Teacher Jeannie.
3. Music builds confidence
One of the best benefits of music for preschoolers is the confidence that it builds in them. Thanks to certain musical endeavors, some shy kids become noticeably more self-assured. One quiet girl who has never joined a production or show in her school would bravely take part in a Christmas play and perform impressively in front of a huge crowd upon learning how to play the violin or any other musical instrument.
4. Music soothes and comforts
It can truly act as “medicine for the soul or a salve for the spirit,” says Teacher Jeannie. Just watch an infant be lulled to sleep by his mother’s soft crooning, and how anyone, young or old, feels happier after hearing a beloved song.
“For children in particular, their favorite music has a way of providing emotional comfort and security which in turn helps provide a strong foundation for learning, growing and enjoying childhood. Children who grow up being sung to, danced with, and rocked and swayed to music benefit by being loved and nurtured through song,” she cites.
5. Music enhances social skills
Music brings people together. According to Teacher Jeannie, when children experience music-making in a group like in a Kindermusik class, they get a chance to develop and acquire skills like listening, sharing and turn-taking.
In addition, they get to feel a sense of belonging, camaraderie and overall fulfillment from creating, contributing and collaborating in a musical environment. “Singing songs, dancing, and playing instruments together all help elevate and strengthen our connections to one another,” she adds.
6. Music keeps kids organized
Music is math, points out Teacher Jeannie, where beats, rhythms, harmonies, and melodies all balance together in a beautiful equation to create extraordinary sound. It teaches youngsters about structure and order.
“Through music, children are able to not only understand timing and organized patterns; they also learn how to organize themselves – their movements, their words, even their mental processing – in time with music. When children acquire the ability to move to a steady beat, for example, even their ability to do everyday tasks like walking, talking, climbing stairs, bouncing a ball, writing, cutting with scissors, coloring, etc., are improved.”
7. Music helps create rituals
Often, music is tied to special moments and occasions in our lives as shown by the timeless songs that we sing on holidays, birthdays, and weddings. But even everyday experiences can become more fun and meaningful through music, says Teacher Jeannie.
Having specific songs for waking up time, bath time, play time, and bed time, for instance, can help parents and children transition from different activities and make their time together more pleasing and memorable. Building rituals and memories are definitely great benefits of music for preschoolers.
8. Music keeps kids focused and interested
Tasks like putting away toys and tidying up a room become quicker and easier to complete when there’s music playing. Also, most children prefer watching a lengthy show with songs and dances over one that only has dialogue and narration.
“Music brings everything to life and has a way of adding color, flavor, and heightened experience to everything in our world,” notes Teacher Jeannie.
9. Music inspires and boosts creativity
“When children experience and move to music, their ability to envision and create pictures in their mind is developed. Music has a way of feeding our entire mind – waking up both our logical and creative mind through organized sound – that helps raise our ability to think, reason and create in the abstract,” Teacher Jeannie says.
For some kids, an activity such as loom bracelet-making is doubly delightful when done while listening to music. This is because music feeds the imagination, teaching children to learn, create and dream.
10. Music increases Emotional Quotient or EQ
Because music is tied to emotion and speaks from the heart, children raised in a musical environment learn how to connect with their feelings as well as others’ in a sensitive, intuitive way.
Teacher Jeannie attests that they learn how to read emotions, are perceptive to others, and ultimately express themselves freely and openly. They grow up to be happy, healthy, well-adjusted individuals who can genuinely and meaningfully empathize with others. “In so many ways, children who are musical learn how to carry a song in their heart, and to let their hearts sing!” she shares.
Have you done something “musical” with your child lately? What other benefits of music to preschoolers do you know of? Do share in the comments!
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