The Benefits of Music in Early Learning
Even if you weren’t a musical person before you had children, chances are you’ve been bopping, swaying and cooing your way through the days since you did; and you probably haven’t even released it.
Communicating through sounds, rhythm, pitch, and beat are all natural ways of bonding with your baby. And apart from being fun, they help your little one in so many ways.
If you’re looking for reasons to bring a little extra music into your life, you won’t need to look far. Music positively impacts the growth and development of our brains at all stages of life, particularly when we are young.
Neuroscience has investigated the effect of music on the brain and can now prove its capacity to literally change our minds. And while listening is great, playing is even better.
The parts of our brain associated with auditory processing, spatial coordination, motor control and emotional intelligence are all positively impacted by music. Learning to follow music and play along just enhances this development further. Auditory processing means sounds, which leads to language development and eventually literacy.
Motor skills and spatial coordination will be refined and strengthened by learning to play music, but for very young children moving along to the music is the best place to start.
How to Bring More Music into your Life
Music is central to learning programs at Hamersley Early Learning School. From infants to toddlers to kindy all programs incorporate music in different ways. There are a range of ways this can be continued at home, depending on your child’s life stage.
Singing to your baby can be wonderfully soothing for you both. Singing creates harmony in the otherwise fractious tired mind of a family, while creating intimacy with your little one. Sing a favourite song regularly and your baby will come to recognise the tune, as well as responding to your enjoyment of the tune.
You can sing to your little one while bathing, dressing, eating or while putting them to sleep. If you have an instrument, allow them to see you play it; they may even wish to try themselves. Plucking strings or banging on a tambourine are easy ways to explore music. You can also use sleepy time music, such as classical or ambient to soothe infants at night.
Toddlers love to move to music and they often like a wide arrange of styles. Repetition of songs encourages the use of words and memorisation. This can help with early literacy skills. Reproducing rhythms by clapping or tapping objects is easy and fun. You can make your own shakers with rice in a small plastic bottle, upturned pots and pans, or check out the toy store for some simple percussion instruments for toddlers.
Children between 3-5 years old love to sing. At this age, your child will most likely enjoy singing nursery rhymes and songs about things they are familiar with. This includes things like animals, toys, and people. Action rhymes with or even without musical accompaniment are great, teaching rhythm, co-ordination and language skills.
Having a family dance is always fun, and wooden spoons still make the best microphones.
School Age Children
At this age, your child is likely to have an opinion about the kind of music they like. They will also be exposed to music in the school curriculum and may find they have an interest in music lessons. Trying a range of different instruments is great for young children and an effective way of finding out if they enjoy a particular instrument. If your child starts out on something and decides it’s not for them, don’t worry. This is perfectly normal. Rather than giving up, offering them the opportunity to try something else will keep the music alive.