Music has been used as a force of healing since the beginning of time. From Aristotle to Native Americans, it has been proven that when we hear music and poetry, our soul is altered. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, also used singing and playing instruments to cure his patients.
Scholars and doctors have continued this research into modern times as well and have developed quite interesting insights. Various scientific studies have shown that exposing infants and babies to music helps build neural bridges, useful in processing thoughts and information.
Undoubtedly, listening to music has miraculous benefits for everyone, including children. As a parent, you should be aware of these effects that music has on your child so that you can efficiently use it to improve their cognitive development in their early childhood itself.
Music and the brain:
After the numerous studies that have been conducted, scientists have found that giving children exposure to music in their early childhood can accelerate brain development, specifically in terms of language acquisition and reading skills. It has also been proven that learning an instrument at a young age can help your child improve mathematical learning.
This does not mean that the benefits of musical education and exposure to music, in general, are limited to only academic development. Music can make your child more intellectual, social-emotional, improve their motor skills, language, and overall literacy.
All these benefits aside, music simply brings joy! Listening to music can put your toddler in a very happy mood and lift their spirits up too.
As a toddler, your child might not be able to understand words in their favorite nursery rhyme, only the melody might be engaging to them. But as they get older, they recollect the memories of those nursery rhymes and are able to identify the words in it. This thus builds its overall vocabulary.
While growing up, your child may face difficulties in adapting socially. A brilliant way to help them overcome these problems is by encouraging them to learn how to play an instrument or be a part of a singing group. This will teach them important social skills like how to relate with people, working in a team, leadership, discipline, and how to appreciate rewards.
When you encourage your child to participate in a band or choir, they’ll learn how important it is to be patient and how it affects others. This is because when performing in a group, the members must wait for the others to be done playing their part, or there will be no harmony in the song they are playing. Thus, your child will learn how to be patient and co-ordinate with others if they take part in group musical performances.
If you feel as though your child is facing problems with confidence, learning how to play a musical instrument or even singing can help with that a lot. When your child realizes that they can develop a skill by themselves, it boosts their self-esteem and overall confidence. With time, they’ll start getting better at playing that particular instrument, thus gaining more confidence.
It is safe to say that musicians are one of the most creative people out there. Whether it is learning to play the piano or singing or writing lyrics to a song, your child is going to discover their creative self through music.
Now that we have discussed the different benefits of music in your child’s development, let’s talk about how you can incorporate music and rhythm into your child’s life to enhance physical, emotional, and cognitive abilities at any age.
• Provide instruments such as bells and shakers to toddlers
• Help them move their bodies while listening to music
• Make associations between songs and activities
• Use well-known songs to enhance vocabulary and memory
• Use music as a form of story-telling
• Encourage your child to learn how to play an instrument with their peers
• Encourage them to participate in a band practice or choir group
All in all, music is extremely beneficial for a child’s development and it is your responsibility as a parent to make sure your child is exposed to it from a young age.
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