Music has become so prominent and ingrained in our day to day lives that it’s easy to overlook the effects it can have on babies and young children. It is present is so many parts of our daily lives, from background music in TV shows and movies to playing over the speakers while we shop for groceries. Though we might not be able to immediately recognize the effects that listening to and playing music will have on a child as they grow, there’s no denying that music is good for people of all ages!
Music can benefit babies and children in many ways
Playing music helps to improve coordination
Young brains learn from every experience it takes in, especially when the experience involves repetition, like music. Playing instruments like tambourines, drums, maracas or bells can help babies to feel the music, and in turn fully engage in the experience. This association between moving their body- and in turn the instrument- helps teach cause and effect, in a way that a young child can understand and relate to.
Listening to music can benefit language development
There’s nothing like a good kids’ sing a long song to help stimulate a child’s desire to join in and learn some new words! The repetition often involved with those kids’ songs can help teach new vocabulary and improve listening skills, which can help foster that love of music from a young age.
Music can be a mood booster
We’ve likely all felt the effects of having an upbeat or favourite song come on the radio. The song can almost immediately lift our mood and have us singing or dancing along. Music has a similar effect on babies and children, even if they don’t have an immediate personal tie to the song itself. Happy and upbeat music can influence kids to feel happy and upbeat themselves.
Music is a social activity
Engaging in musical activities offers the perfect opportunity for a baby to be social and to learn social skills. The practice of moving in sync with others as you make music or sing songs together teaches babies and toddlers to form social bonds and to learn how to work together with others. As a child grows, this ability to blend music with their social life can carry over into hobbies like dance, band, musical theatre and gymnastics.
Playing music together helps foster a parent/child bond
Life is inherently busy, and carving out the time to take a music class together can help strengthen the bond between a parent and child of any age. Creating focused time to spend together shows a child that they are valued and important, and those happy moments and memories can linger and encourage them to continue to improve their musical skills as they grow older.
How to include music in a child’s everyday life
Making music a part of your child’s life isn’t difficult in the least! There are many things you can do to expose your child to music, and to help them start experiencing the benefits from a young age.
- Play music in the car while you are running errands
- Take a parent & baby music class
- Play music at home while making dinner or doing chores
- Sing songs together
- Take a music class yourself and practice at home when your child is present
- Play child-focused songs during playtime
- Play musicals on the TV
Foster a love of music when they’re young
Introducing music to children from a young age can have so many benefits as they grow. Learning the basics of coordination, language skills, team work and emotional development can have far reaching effects for babies and children of any age.