Benefits of Music for Children: How Learning & Development Can Rocket!
The benefits of music on child development and learning
From an early age, children are exposed to singing. Whether they are sung to sleep by a parent or hear it in their favourite TV show, the exposure is there. There are many benefits of music for children’s development, therefore, it is good to get a child into singing and playing instruments from an early age!
Benefits of singing for children
How does singing support brain development?
As adults, we have long understood that when you sing it can release those feel-good endorphins. Performers often say that the biggest rush and high they get is from singing in front of a crowd. It’s all related to psychology, and singing has been shown to life people out of a bad mood.
And with kids?
Well, the benefits of music for children’s development, in particular their brain activity is a really interesting one. We’ve all seen how happy kids are when they sing, just like grown-ups are, but there are some other aspects as well to benefit from including:
- Learning to sing as a child causes the brain to perform multiple tasks at once. This helps to develop the memory: from remembering lyrics to remembering a cue to start singing, the brain learns to be able to handle more tasks and is required to perform them simultaneously.
- Singing encourages deep breathing, getting more oxygen to the brain which helps with natural development and concentration.
- Singing provides children practical examples of concepts such as fast and slow to loud and quiet.
- Music can improve the mood of the child, thus supporting a healthy emotional state.
- Children singing or playing instruments helps the child to learn on a deeper level setting and achieving more complex goals.
- Music lessons for children will help to develop a child’s imagination and creativity.
How does music help children’s development?
In 2016, the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute completed research regarding music and child development. Their focus was primarily to find out how exposure to music could positively impact reading and language development.
The study (read it here) found that there were indeed benefits of music in child development, as their data showed that it could speed up brain development.
Assal Habibi, one of the senior research associates involved with the study said:
“The auditory system is stimulated by music. This system is also engaged in general sound processing that is fundamental to language development, reading skills and successful communication.”
How does music help language development?
There are many language development benefits for children who sing and listen to music. Below are just some of the benefits of music to children’s learning and development with regards to their language skills.
- Singing helps children to express themselves both verbally and emotionally.
- Children when singing learn to better understand differences in vocal sounds and learn to imitate sound.
- Singing encourages self confidence and helps aid a children to communicate with others.
- Singing practise for children helps to strengthen the lips and tongue through exercise, which is then stored through muscle memory.
- Singing diction helps a child speak more clearly and singing a variety of songs can help them with their vocabulary.
- Singing lessons for children help them to learn to keep rhythm and how to rhyme.
- In singing, children learn the importance of listening and self-discipline in order to learn their favourite songs.
- Being part of a group or choir can provide children with a feeling of belonging and can help them make friends.
Singing supports learning and concentration
The alphabet is often taught with the ‘ABC’ song. This can be taken further: singing can be used to help children learn foreign languages, as it is proven that children remember phrases with greater accuracy when they sing.
Through something as simple as taking a song a child already knows, such as ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ and changing the words accordingly, you can aid learning in anything from science and history to the English language!
Singing makes everything more fun for children and lightens their mood. It creates a sense of togetherness. It can comfort a child when they feel sad and banishes boredom when they are agitated. One of the most notable benefits of music is that it causes the mind to focus and the body to relax!
How does music and movement help pre-schoolers?
Starting early is essential to get the most benefit of music in children’s learning and development. It’s never too early to start either, with the pre-school years being an optimum opportunity.
At this age, their brains are growing at a rapid rate, soaking up information and experiences like a sponge.
Music and singing can help toddlers to develop their memory, social skills, speech, and listening and the following developmental aspects:
- Overall health
- Feeling good
- Body awareness and balance
- Language development
- Focused listeners
Fun ways you can introduce music and singing at a young age
If you want to start yours off at an early stage so they don’t miss out on the benefits of music for children and their development, here are a few fun activities you can do. They are simple everyday tasks can introduce into your toddler’s daily routine.
- Buy a small karaoke machine to use at home and sing-along with them.
- Come up with a song to accompany routine tasks such as getting dressed in the morning.
- Alternate reading a bedtime story by singing a song to help them get off to sleep.
- Listen to music in your car, possibly taking the karaoke songs you’ve all learned.
- Take them to a child-friendly music concert.
Why music is important in school
As children grow older, music can develop them further in even more ways. Unfortunately, not all schools run regular music lessons, so it’s important to try to expose your child to singing wherever you can.
Music in school is vitally important.
Here are just a few benefits we believe it can bring to learning and development in a structured educational environment.
- Reasoning skills
- Better hand to eye co-ordination
- Emotional development
- Socialisation and team work
- Improves imagination
- Teaches discipline
- Helps children to relax
- Helps with creative thinking
- Sense of achievement
- Increases confidence
- Maths and pattern recognition skills
- Improves engagement with school and learning
How do you think singing and music has helped your child’s development and learning? Can you tell us about any other benefits you’ve noticed as your child has grown older?