Music plays a fundamental role in our culture and is present in practically all areas of our lives.
It is a universal form of expression, which conveys peace and tranquility, and helps us relax. But also, it makes the mind stay alert and favors our concentration. “Music is to the soul what gymnastics is to the body.” Nothing is more accurate than this phrase, enunciated by Plato thousands of years ago, to describe the power of this medium in the human being.
Since we are born we are exposed to music. Parents use this medium for different purposes: for babies to calm down and relax, to transmit their love and joy, and to enjoy and interact with them. This, which is an instinctive act, should be reinforced: music has a great impact on child development, both at a cognitive, emotional, motor and social level.
In this article, we bring you 6 benefits of why your children should interact with music during childhood.
6 advantages of music in children
1. Promotes sensory development
Just as taste, textures and colors favor the sensory development of children; the same thing happens with music.
Children’s exposure to different harmonies, melodies and rhythms promotes the connection between brain cells and allows sensory development. This effect increases when music is linked with other activities, such as dancing.
2. Promotes cognitive development
Brain development is stimulated when children listen to and sing their favorite songs.
Exposure to music and active participation in musical experiences improve memory power, concentration, spatial intelligence, and reasoning skills.
For example, if a child is told by a song to jump backward, he learns where his body is located in relation to space, and which way to go. Details like these are of great importance for cognitive development.
3. Promotes the development of language, communication and mathematical reasoning
Science has shown that learning music engages the same parts of the brain that are used when learning the language.
Music stimulates the senses and helps children learn and develop language skills. But also, it favors listening, reading and writing skills; in turn, improving fluency in speech and communication.
From birth, babies are able to differentiate between different types of sounds. After a few weeks, they can already identify their mother’s voice from other people’s. Exposure to music reinforces this natural ability to decode sounds and words.
A study carried out at the University of Maryland (United States) suggests that “children first pay attention to the sounds of language, and only then to their meaning.” Therefore, music could be understood as an initial and fundamental step in the literacy process.
When we sing to our children, we can help them identify sound patterns and learn through repetition. Additionally, continuous exposure to music helps the baby to anticipate what is to come, learning to locate patterns within a sequence.
By reinforcing these skills, the child will be able to create the foundation for literacy and mathematical reasoning.
4. Promotes emotional and social development
Music transmits emotions, and feelings evokes past experiences or leads us to imagine the future. But it also works as a means of expression during the first years of life, helping the child to communicate and express himself.
On the other hand, it is a means of socialization from which the child relates to his peers, family and teachers. According to Piaget, Initial Education is the moment when the child stops playing alone to start interacting with other people. Within this process, music functions as a fundamental and integrating element. If you want to read more about this author, we invite you to read this article.
Finally, it also helps the development of creativity and originality, considering that it offers multiple ways to express yourself and transmit your ideas and thoughts. It does not work as a limiter, but as an enhancer.
5. Teaches coordination skills
Children can move to the beat of a song, even if they don’t know its words. In fact, they react differently to different stimuli or musical rhythms.
Music encourages movement, helping to develop motor skills. Even if the rhythm entertains them, they can begin to jump and move more actively. This helps muscle development, strength and balance.
On the other hand, when children learn to play an instrument, the activity involves hand-eye coordination, ear-hand coordination, and so on. In this way, fine motor skills are developed more and more.
6. Improves concentration and memory
This point is fundamentally accentuated when children learn to play instruments. In music, even the simplest melodies involve a great exercise in concentration and coordination. These movements, in turn, put the memory into practice.
Over time, children learn that the mystery of the instruments is in the practice, and this is because repetition reinforces memory.
Music as a playful experience
The experience that music offers is essential for child development. The reasons are not few, and they were already exposed in the previous paragraphs. But to make the most of its virtues, it is important that the child’s exposure to the different forms of music (singing, instruments, or simply listening to it); be part of an interaction with the environment, whether with adults or other children.
During childhood, the relationship with music must be a game. Only understood in this way, the playful experience can become an auditory, cognitive practice, body expressions, and motor exercises, among many others. In short, it will become a stimulation and development tool.