“Music can bring so much joy to a child’s life that it is a wonderful gift in its own right,” affirms Dr. Dee Joy Coulter, a nationally recognized Neuroscience educator, “but it also has the most “fringe benefits” of all the art forms and activities you could give your child.”
- Music is often thought of as humanity’s universal language. As children learn songs and dances from around the world, they learn how to connect with different cultures and become world citizens.
- There are an increasing number of medical applications for music in healing, including the relief of pain,lowering stress and blood pressure, and reducing the hospital stays of premature newborns and surgical patients.
Here are a few facts and information on how to inspire children to fall in love with music from the first installment in the parents’ Creativity Wish List.
How to inspire Infants and toddlers to begin to love music
- Even before birth, most infants hear and love the sound of their mother’s voice, and research shows that nearly all people who go on to develop higher musical skills in life were sang to by their parents during childhood.
- Music classes begin with the most powerful expression of parental love cultures have developed – the lullaby. Nothing is more nourishing than this opportunity to soak up the love of a parent through music.
- The same tonal patterns in songs and tunes are used by different cultures around the world, naturally using rising tones to create and delight infants and toddlers, while using falling tones to calm and sooth them.
- As your infant grows into toddlerhood, explore different types of songs and music to see which delight them the most, bringing them joy and relaxation. Many parent-child early childhood music classes help parents to explore what kind of music has the most effect on their child.
Using music to build skills that will delight preschoolers and beginning school age children
- As toddlers grow into preschool age, parents and teachers can use songs, dances, musical stories, games, and other activities to teach children about energy and emotion. Lively songs are often met with happy, smiling movement, while slower, gentler songs can help express calm and even sadness.
- It can be helpful to match music to your child’s current mood to show how music conveys feelings. If your child is happy, then sing happy songs with them. Inversely, you can use music selections, songs, and activities to help counter their mood, such as slower, softer songs at bedtime to help them settle down.
- Throughout history and across cultures humans have shared in songs when working together. Explore work songs with your child as a great way to teach them to enjoy picking up their toys and helping with chores around the home.
Instilling a love of music in your child is a gift that will last their entire life. Even before birth, exposure to music has shown to provide numerous benefits in early childhood, such as improved language development, focus and memory, and fundamental math skills. Taking it a step further, group musical activities in early childhood have shown to improve self-confidence, self-esteem, discipline, and teamwork.