Kids love music from birth, well we can actually say that since before that. Research has shown that when a pregnant woman regularly listens to a certain song or piece of music during her pregnancy, her baby can recognize this after birth and can make this relax.
This love of music often persists during its development and growth.
Young children usually like to listen to songs, sing, and dance. Songs are also often used to indicate transitions in the daily rhythm of young children. For example, in many daycare centers and playgroups, a song is sung for fruit or lunch, many parents sing a lullaby for their child, and many parents encourage brushing with a toothbrushing song. Young children like music and this makes music such a good tool in their development. It makes transitions recognizable and immediately pleasant and pleasurable.
Music is, therefore, one of the things preferred by most children, and that is very positive because listening to music and certainly making music is very educational.
Children learn to listen to music very well “listening” and then not in the sense of “doing what parents say,” but in the sense of actually listening (with hearing). And being able to hear well has a positive effect on language development. Young children who often listen to music can better distinguish between different sounds. This greatly helps them learn to speak because they can more easily distinguish between different sounds of letters and words.
Kids who often listen to music also seem to be better at filtering out background noise, allowing them to focus better on what they want or need to hear. It seems that they have learned to extract relevant information from all the sounds around them.
Intelligence because of the music?
It is sometimes claimed that children become smarter listening to classical music (this is called the Mozart effect). During one study, the researchers had the children listen to Mozart and take an intelligence test. After listening to Mozart, the children’s IQ seemed to increase by approximately 8/9 points. This was attributed to music. However, it soon became apparent that this increase in IQ was not permanent and that the same increase in IQ could be achieved by making children listen carefully to a story. It could be concluded that it was not specifically classical music that made children perform better, but that concentrated listening (to music, a story) makes the brain activate, so performance is better.
The studies also state that in children who practice a musical instrument, the left hemisphere (speaks and intellect) and the right hemisphere (state of feeling) connect more closely with each other than with non-musicians. This effect arises because making music has a positive and stimulating effect on neural connections in the brain.
It has also often been said about making music yourself that would benefit intelligence. Children now certainly learn a lot about music education, but no direct connection has ever been found between an increase in IQ and music lessons.
However, children who took music lessons and attended concerts often seemed to develop more intellect than children who did not. But intelligence was the factor that caused these children to be more interested in music and music education and not in music education which led to greater intelligence.
Learning to make music
Learning to make music yourself certainly has positive effects that extend beyond being able to play an instrument. In order to make music, different parts of the brain must work well together. Playing an instrument requires good motor skills, you need to listen to know if the music is playing correctly and sounds good, and to be able to read the musical notes and to be able to play the instrument you must also examine it carefully. This stimulates connections in the brain between motor and sensory areas.
The music consists of patterns and when listening and playing music, the brain becomes more sensitive to perception patterns. And employers come back in many skills and school subjects that kids have to learn. Of course, memory is also trained when a child learns to play a piece of music.
Recent research has shown that children who have had music lessons can better switch between different tasks, solve problems more easily, and process information quickly.
Learning to make music also requires concentration, the ability to focus attention, and perseverance. Especially at first, when they realize that playing well is not so simple, the key to perseverance is very important. And when they have a good teacher, who also knows how to offer funny songs to beginner students and how to encourage them to continue, playing music can also provide fun, relaxation, and creativity quickly. And when at some point it is possible to play a piece of music, that is also very good for self-confidence.
Making group music stimulates children’s social development. In order to make good music together, they must consider each other, be literally and figuratively well-tuned, and work together.
Music and exercise go hand in hand together. Moving when you listen to music usually happens spontaneously, it’s a natural process. Kids have fun moving freely with music. Young children translate music into motion, especially when it comes to classical music. Dancing stimulates motor skills and singing is good for your child’s language development. If your child is a little older, he or she can also create his or her own songs. That’s how you appeal to his creativity. You also teach him how language works. Rhyme is a very good exercise for that.
Make your own instruments
You don’t always have to buy an expensive instrument right away. They can also create musical instruments together. For example, filling an empty plastic bottle with pebbles, peas or grains of rice. You can also create simple instruments for the home, garden, and kitchen, such as kitchen utensil lids, lades, and a bucket.
Music in the different periods of development
As I said earlier, kids learn a lot by making music, but listening to music also has a positive effect on kids. As we age, we often see children treat music differently. Elementary school is often still sung and danced, but much less than in preschool. Once puberty begins, listening to music becomes more important. Young people are often very busy with music. Having a preference for some music helps young people shape their identity and join a group.
Many young people also use music to express their emotions. After a hard day at school, they play loud music to express anger or unload. Quiet music can help express sadness and cheerful music can give a big boost in your energy.
Some reasons to make music with your child
- Love: When you sing with your child, he knows you and your voice. You’re the first important voice in your life. Your son learns that you love him. You really don’t have to have a good voice. Just sing for him.
- Recognition – Young children benefit from safety. Tracked songs help with daily activities. Give him recognition and predictability, your child knows what’s coming next.
- Game: singing and playing with your child there is interaction, you have fun together and deepen the knowledge in each other.
- Language development: language development is closely linked to musical development. When you sing and talk to your child, learn words, language structures, and communication. Singing stimulates language comprehension.
- New Words – When you sing, lyrics songs help kids learn to associate words with people, animals, and things. In this way, there are always new words and concepts that name and know the child: the parts of his body, the toys, but also, for example, the actions they perform, such as playing, eating…
- Rhythm and rhyme: there is a lot of regularity in songs and verses, words are sung rhythmically or spoken to a measure. That way you can remember the words much better. The rhyme adds to that even more.
- Involve the whole family – Everyone can participate by singing and dancing to a song. Create a great bond and you can turn it into a family event.
- Learn how to give your own name: You can sing your child’s name in many songs. Because of this, he gets to know his name better and after a while, he knows that name belongs to him.
- Listen better: for language acquisition (also later for reading) and for communication, it is important to be able to listen well and learn to distinguish nuances.
- Feelings. Songs and music help you understand and express your feelings. The songs offer you comfort, peace or make you happy. It helps you learn how to manage your feelings.
All the information we give you in this article is indicative as each child and each family is different and unique.
Carolina González Ramos
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