- 11December 2017
Singing and music play an important role in our culture. We find music present in many aspects of our lives: theater, television, movies, worship, holidays, celebrations, and ceremonies. At home, music can become part of our family culture – a natural part of our everyday experiences.
From birth, parents instinctively use music to calm and soothe children, to express their love and joy, and to engage and interact. Parents can build on these natural instincts by learning how music can impact child development, improve social skills, and benefit kids of all ages.
Music and the Brain: The Benefits of Music
A 2016 study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute found that musical experiences in childhood can actually accelerate brain development, particularly in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills. According to the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM Foundation), learning to play an instrument can improve mathematical learning. But academic achievement isn’t the only benefit of music education and exposure. Music ignites all areas of child development and skills for school readiness: intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy.
In addition to the developmental benefits of music, why is music important? Simply put, it provides us with joy. Just think about listening to a good song on the car radio with the window down on a beautiful day. That’s joy.
Music Games for Kids of All Ages
Children of all ages express themselves through music. Big Foot Preschool believes that music helps the body and the mind work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression. For children and adults, music helps strengthen memory skills.
Music and dance is has great emphasis in Big Foot Preschool’s curriculum. Children sway, bounce, or move their hands in response to music they hear daily. Many preschoolers make up songs and, with no self-consciousness, sing to themselves as they play. Children l learn to sing together as a group and possibly learn to play a musical instrument. Older children dance to the music of their favorite bands and use music to form friendships and share feelings. Try these activities and games with your children to experience the pleasure and learning that music brings.