Music and songs are two of the important aspects of our culture. We can find them almost everywhere, such as public ceremonies, celebrations, movies, worship, and theater. They can be a part of our everyday experiences and even the family cultures.
We’re introduced to music right from the time when we are in our mother’s wombs. It soothes us and we use it to express our moments of joy and love. Music can help in different stages of a child’s development and help him or her learn new skills.
Benefits of music for children
An important study was conducted at the Brain and Creativity Institute of the University of Southern California in 2016. The results showed a link between childhood experiences with music and brain development. The experiences of a child with music during childhood can accelerate the development of his or her brain.
This is especially true in the areas of reading and language skills. Learning to play a musical instrument can improve mathematical abilities and even test scores. The benefits of music is not limited to academic achievements. It positively influences all the areas of development in kids. Music also helps a child’s body and mind to work together.
Role of music in the developmental stages of children
Children belonging to different age groups can express themselves through music. Even the infants sway or move their hands and feet in their response to music. Many of the children make up songs and sing them almost with no self-consciousness. As they grow older, they may learn to sing along with others and even dance to their favorite music.
In their infancy, children recognize a song’s melody. A quiet background music can soothe their senses, especially during the time of their sleep. Simple, short songs are good for the infants. Parents can make up a song on bathing, eating, or dressing to sing to them while performing those activities.
Toddlers like to sing, move, and dance while music is being played. It helps in developing their abilities in learning a language and memorizing words. They laugh at silly songs. Parents can try singing a familiar song or rhyme and inserting a different word in place of the original word.
For example, ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’ can be made into ‘Twinkle twinkle baby star’. The toddlers can also be encouraged to tap or clap objects to produce rhythms.
These kids are not self-conscious about their singing abilities. Such children enjoy singing and are never afraid to be loud when they sing. They like songs that have words and melodies repeated in them. Preschoolers enjoy songs about things they are familiar with, such as toys and animals. This is the reason why most of them like nursery rhymes.
Many of the young school-age kids begin showing their likes and dislikes for different types of music. Almost all of them find the singalong songs for kids quite fascinating. They especially like songs that involve spelling, counting, or remembering a sequence of events. At this stage of childhood, they may express their interest in learning music.
Besides parents and younger kids, teenagers may develop bonds with individuals of their age through music. They also use their musical experiences to set themselves apart from younger kids or their parents. The teenagers may often want to listen to music after school with their group of friends.
At this stage, some of them can express a strong interest in taking music lessons. Some may also form garage and basement bands.