Music is everywhere in our world. It surrounds us on television, in shopping centres and even during cultural celebrations. Chances are, you listen to your favourite songs on your way to work or when doing chores. You may also be listening to music now! Music is an essential outlet for relaxation from our stressful lives.
With music surrounding us in so many ways, it is no surprise that music plays a significant role in child development as well. As parents, you may sing lullabies to your children during bedtime to get them to sleep. Parents can also sing songs with their child as a form of bonding activity. You may have noticed your child singing and clapping along to music from a tender age. The benefits of music on child development starts from the moment your child is an infant. Hence, knowing how to create a musically-rich environment for your child will be beneficial to his or her development of skills.
The Benefits of music on Child Development
Music has a role in all aspects of child development, including motor and socio-emotional skills and intellectual development. Playing a musical instrument or dancing to music improves motor skills and awareness of our environment. It is also a medium of expression. Memorizing the melody and rhythm of songs requires multitasking. Such activity helps to improve memory. Group music classes develop social skills through collaboration and creativity.
The Benefits Through the Ages
Musical expression changes throughout childhood and adolescence. Infants and young children clap or sway along to the music. When they are old enough, children start learning the words to songs and even make up their own words. Older children and teenagers start singing in groups and begin discovering the type of music they like. They may enjoy learning musical instruments and form their musical groups or bands. As explained below music has a significant contribution towards child development.
Infants do not know the lyrics to songs. However, they can recognise tunes and start moving to music. It is advised to play soft and calming music to infants, especially at bedtime. To make mundane activities exciting, you can create short songs to signal the beginning of tasks, like bedtime, bath time or dinner time. These would excite the infant and give them delight about the activity.
At this age, children can express themselves through physical movements and dance. Toddlers learn songs through repetition. You can change the lyrics of a familiar song to something silly. You can also change the song lyrics to teach them new concepts, languages or even meanings of words and sentences. Make the song as creative as possible. At the same time, you could encourage them to clap along to the rhythm.
Children at this age have no inhibitions and want to express themselves. You can introduce your child to nursery rhymes and traditional children’s songs. They enjoy songs with a fixed rhythm and direction. An example of such a song, “The Wheels on the Bus.”
Primary School Children
Songs that aid children with school subjects can be employed at this stage. For example, having a song that teaches them how to count and spell. They may also start having an opinion on the types of songs they like and dislike.
Teenagers may already have their preference in music. They may like to form bands or groups with their friends as a social activity to express themselves.
Music has numerous benefits on child development. It teaches many aspects of child development like motor and socio-emotional skills, which will help your child in his or her later life. Bringing music into your household will benefit your child’s early development – including lots of fun!