The Role of Music in Child Development

The Role of Music in Child Development

As parents, children’s music can drive us absolutely nuts.  We have listened to the same Raffi CD over and over again until we want to tear our hair out but before we do that we need to realize the role of music in child development.  It needs to be entertaining for your children to listen to and not necessarily the parents.  Kids have pretty short attention spans so it has to grab their attention quickly.

Simple and repetitive

Kid’s music is simple and repetitive and that allows your children, even the very young ones to learn the songs quickly.  The can join in and sing along making music interactive, when they can sing along they are going to be able to listen for a longer span of time before they get sick of it.  Unfortunately, we as parents will get sick of the music long before our kids do.

Music as a Teaching Tool

Music is a great teaching tool, think of the alphabet song, you probably learned the alphabet through song.  Teachers have been combining music with traditional learning for decades.  Singing is interactive and it is an easy way to get kids interested and to remember the subject matter.  The kids hear the music and start singing along and having fun, completely unaware that they are learning at the same time.  Memorizing a song allows them to learn the subject matter, making music an incredibly valuable teaching tool.  Here is how music is used in the classroom.

Kids are constantly finding new things that they don’t always understand, and it is not always tangible things.  Kids can have a hard time dealing with their own feelings, sharing for example is often a difficult lesson for other kids to learn.  Music is a great way to help them learn to deal with and grasp feelings that they don’t understand.  They can learn that being sad or angry is okay and you can help them deal with this emotions constructively rather than destructively.

Music is critical to a child’s development as a  teaching tool and as a source of pleasure.  Even as adults we use music to make ourselves feel better.  Music can make us more productive and improve our moods, we can commiserate when we feel sad or lonely.  We can’t begin to comprehend the effect music has on us, even those of us who don’t play an instrument or carry a tune.

Music and Your Baby

Music and Your Baby

Parents will often start singing to their children while they are still in the womb.  Once they are born it seems perfectly natural to us to sing them to sleep at night.  Many mothers can be found in a rocking chair with their babies singing them to sleep.  At the same time we don’t really think about how this may benefit the baby, we are simply going on instinct.  There are countless benefits to music and music and your baby seem to go together.

Music is soothing

Adult or infant, music is soothing to the soul and you will find that when your baby is fussy or upset that singing to them comforts them.  It also gives the mother the chance to remain calm when dealing with a fussy baby.  Looking after an infant is exhausting and it is hard to calm a crying child when you haven’t slept yourself, singing to the baby keeps both of you calm.

Babies can learn rhythm

When you sing to your child and they like it they begin to become familiar with patterns and rhythms in music, even infants have favorite songs.  A baby can understand things like pitch but only once they have been exposed to music.  Babies can feel rhythm and when they hear music that they like they will start to move and get excited, almost dancing.  Next time you play music just watch how your baby reacts.

Music helps them learn language

Most music, but children’s songs in particular have lyrics that rhyme.  Rhyming is pleasing to the ear and your baby can develop an ear for rhymes, this in turn helps them learn language.  Song lyrics and poetry are closely intertwined and children develop language from birth to around age 5.  You can teach children new words and language easily through song and music.  You can start teaching them about the world around them through music, expose them to age appropriate music as soon as they are born.  They learn language by trying to emulate the sounds they hear, as they get older it helps them develop a bigger vocabulary.

Never underestimate the power of music and how it can help your children develop.  Music is such a huge part of self expression and creativity and all kids should be encouraged to listen to and embrace music.  Music makes us want to move our bodies and it soothes our souls.