Music is an integral part of all our lives for many centuries now. The incredible thing about music is that it is abstract and you can interpret it in your own way. Listening to your favorite music acts as a mood enhancer which instantly picks you from lows and takes you to high spirits as it has a direct impact on the brain resulting in the release of dopamine – the happiness hormone. As adults, we are all avid listeners of music, most of us dance to the rhythm and beats, some of us enjoy bathroom singing and a few of us are competent and popular performers. However, the seeds of music are sown much early on during childhood.
Let’s talk about ten ways how music can contribute to the overall development of your child from the early ages
1. Music and pregnancy – Ladies, you would have been advised to speak to your unborn and listen to music during pregnancy. Studies have proven that listening to music from seven months of pregnancy helps the fetus in their brain development and creates very early recognition capabilities. Personally, I have sung Bhajans to my unborn, and she would respond by kicking and turning!
2. Sing Lullabies – Singing lullabies while gently rocking the baby helps in improving their spatial abilities. They become more familiar with their surroundings, space and time as they feel their bodies move. A popular study is also known as the ‘Mozart effect,’ indicates that music is a stimulus for brain development and improves spatiotemporal reasoning in children.
3. Music for cranky baby – As music has a soothing effect; it often helps calm down babies that are crying. There are a number of Mozart songs available that are best played for soothing effects. Don’t restrict yourself however to Mozart as there many genres available such as jazz, country music, Bollywood, etc. Play different tunes and identify the one that your baby relates to the most. This helps children in self-regulation of their emotions.
4. Associate a particular song with transition times – Infants and toddlers find transition times such as going to bed and waking up quite difficult. Hence always playing a particular song for a particular transition time helps improve their memory as they are able to create a link between the music and the experience. Music invokes different responses in each person, and definitely, there are different compositions for day and night. You can choose peppy music to wake up your child and calm and soothing music for bedtime such as lullabies.
5. Create your own personalized routine – Children learn by imitation. Music is an oral experience which needs focus as the child would listen, process and repeat improving the auditory and motor areas of the brain. Create your personalized routine by teaching them to clap in your own pattern or composing your own tune and include that in your daily routine. My little one created her own tune when she was hardly 14 months old, and it goes ‘Tu Lu Tu Lu Tu LuLuLu.’ Encourage your children to compose their own music as it ignites the creative side of their brain.
Source – https://vimeo.com/180775544
6. Play rhymes – Learning can be fun in a musical way. You can promote learning through many rhymes that each teaches a particular topic. The Alphabet song is possibly the first introduction to alphabets. Similarly, we have a number of songs and songs that teach counting such as ‘One, two buckle my shoe.’ Children get awareness about their body with rhymes such as ‘Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes’ or about animals and their sounds with ‘Old Mac Donald.’ Rhymes such as ‘When you are happy, and you know’ help children understand emotions. So go ahead and make learning fun and easier with all the musical rhymes. Don’t forget to add actions while teaching rhymes to your children which helps them develop their fine motor skills.
7. Allow children to play with pots and pans – Let your children explore different sounds and music. Stimulate their thinking by allowing them to identify different sounds and recognize patterns around them such as a bird chirping, a clock ticking, or even water dripping at a set speed. We often get annoyed when they play with pots, pans, and spoons. Keep calm and let them continue with the acoustics experiment and exploration of their creative process and imagination.
8. Sing and Dance along – Children can express themselves by singing and dancing, and you can motivate them by singing and dancing along. Studies have shown that dance has brought about a drastic improvement in autistic children as well as it stimulates them and allows them to express their feelings. Dancing enhances the gross motor skills and certainly helps in the physical development of children’s muscles proving beyond doubt that it’s a very enjoyable exercise. This ‘movers and shakers’ art form also help children improve their balance and focus.
9. Join Mommy and Me Music Classes – Find out about music classes that you can attend with your child. This helps improve bonding with your child and keeps them thrilled about music. Singing and dancing along with your children improves their self-esteem and self-confidence as they see their parents joining and cheering them.
10. Enroll your kids for formal music training – Studies worldwide have shown that formal music training activates the left hemisphere of the brain. Such trainings helps children increase their logical abilities. Children attending piano classes were able to solve complex maths problems and perform better academically better than those who didn’t attend any formal music classes. Such classes also encourage teamwork and increases social realization thereby helping children build relationships with peers at a very young age.
So as you can see music helps in the development of children’s cognitive, creative and emotional intelligence. Music also plays a key role in social cognition and helps children become more helpful and more empathetic toward others. Music is incredibly important and spectacularly empowers children. So, “Feel the Beat and Grow your Children with Music”.