Children learn to schedule their lives from the time of their birth, from having a set time to wake up in the mornings, to a certain standard bath and bedtimes. Routines can seem boring to some, but they are very helpful in providing children (and adults) with structure and a feeling of security.
In the same token, exposing your child to music aids in their growth and development as well, from learning how to communicate to reading comprehension and even gives them better social skills. Below are a few of the many benefits that stem from making music – and music education – an important part of your child’s routine.
LANGUAGE COMPREHENSION SKILLS
At an early age, music provides the necessary skills that teach children how to make words with different sounds. If a child is learning how to speak, music can actually enhance the part of the brain that allows them to mimic and understand pronunciations, making it easier for the words to form. Consider this: when you are introducing new words to your child, isn’t it almost universal to utilize a sing-songy type voice? It is a very effective way to teach your child how to produce words and interpret their meanings.
Children also engage in music and have a natural inclination to it at a very young age. If you can remember the days of banging pots and pans in the kitchen or creating musical instruments out of household items, it is apparent that, even from a young age, music and the desire to “make pleasing sounds” is a part of everyone’s innate desires.
Vincent Reina, music instructor and co-founder of the music school Music To Your Home, states that “music is a wonderful foundation for education in young children because they will listen closely and identify sounds that they can mimic and form words with.
Music provides a strong base for learning other languages with ease as well, since the sounds become familiar and later, produce real words and understanding.” Even at a young age before they’re fully speaking, you can incorporate a music routine in your child’s life to develop their understanding of language and words.
INCREASED BRAINPOWER SKILLS
Since music can equip children with language skills at a young age, another added benefit is increased brainpower. Music education has been known to produce higher grades in school due to excelled academic capacity. Additionally, there was a study performed through the University of Montreal that appeared in Science’s Brain and Cognition journal, which concluded that musicians actually have quicker reaction times than non-musicians, making them more mentally aware.
When people age, typically their reaction times slow down. However, if you involve music within your children’s routine, and encourage them to practice music throughout their life, it will keep their brain sharp and ultimately help them to avoid a decline in alertness.
LONG-TERM MEMORIZATION SKILLS
Music helps with cognitive development, as your brain is actively engaged while learning a new skill during a lesson or practice session. The act of practicing regularly plays a role in reversing the decline of memory loss as your child grows. The repetition and prolonged study of music aids in long-term memory on top of the short-term.
A study performed by the University of Texas indicated that those who trained with a musical instrument had more success with overall memory recall than those who did not. It is possible for playing a musical instrument – with proper training, practice, and repetition, to prevent loss of memory throughout the rest of your child’s life. This may be even more pertinent if a child’s family has a history of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
FINE MOTOR SKILLS
When learning how to play an instrument your child will be required to practice fingering, particularly for instruments that require nimble and fast progressions. Guitars and pianos are good starting instruments that both require finger development. Improved motor skills are a direct benefit of studying an instrument. Singing lessons can also require motor skills, with the requirement to control one’s diaphragm and utilize proper posture and breathing techniques. The motor skills required for your child’s music education can and will be improved through practice and proper training.
Expressiveness is another wonderful result of music learning. Children learn how to empathize, be creative and express themselves fully with music. This is essential for growth because your child will be able to read others’ emotions and interpret the proper responses to difficult situations.
Music inspires creativeness within children specifically, because they can easily share and convey feelings, evoke emotion and feel unjudged when making music. This also builds up their confidence, boosts self-esteem, and helps with public speaking or performing.
Another aspect of the social skills that music can teach is patience. In today’s world, we live in a very “immediate gratification” driven society. But music requires time to learn and master, and with the right discipline and practice, your child will retain the patience needed to be successful.
Learning music and taking lessons to master an instrument demonstrates that things take time, and this life skill will carry into other aspects of their lives as they begin to understand the virtue of patience. Learning to be patient – with oneself and with others – is an invaluable social skill that’ll prevent your child from becoming angry or frustrated when something isn’t automatically granted to them.
ADD MUSIC INTO THE ROUTINE
Adding music into your child’s schedule should be a “no-brainer” as the abilities obtained go far beyond just the music. Additionally, it’s fairly straightforward to find simple opportunities to expose your kids to music – and eventually music lessons – throughout their childhood. If you are able to, as a parent, you should try to incorporate some form of music into your child’s life every day.
Music provides a pathway for a well-balanced and well-rounded routine. With essential language skills, advantages in academics and the ability to produce more awareness and compassion, the more they’re exposed to music and music education, the more your child will have an abundantly enriched and fulfilled life.