Is it about the 1250th time that you have sung “5 little monkeys jumping on the bed” with your child? Congratulations, you are helping your child develop their brain!
Music is a large component of human society, even when it comes to little humans! Thankfully, “five little monkeys jumping on the bed” holds more benefits than just a cautionary tale with a reasonable lesson.
Here are 7 benefits of listening and singing with your children
- Formation of brain connections
Studies have shown that music can wire the brain’s circuits and develop parts of the brain involved with important skills such as language processing. (Carlton, 200)
- Practice of math concepts
Natural opportunities to practice math skills are prevalent in musical ontakings. Rhythms and melodies allow for learning of patterns while beats in music heed one-one correspondence (numbers represent quantities)
- Practicing symbolic thinking
Children get an opportunity to practice their symbolic thinking when they pretend the spider is in their hands while singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider’ or other songs that require symbolism. This skill is vital in their cognitive development and understanding of the world.
- Gross motor development
Being the musical human beings we are, we may all feel a natural inclination to move our bodies to music and rhythms. Whether this be in moving your bodies, or rocking your baby, balance and larger muscle groups are being utilized.
- Engaging memory
The connections that children can make between words, sounds, and actions in music allows for an opportunity to practice their memory building skills.
- Building relationships and attachment
Any actions that require serve and return are a sure way to build attachments and relationships with your child. Music is another fun way to do this, as dancing, performing and singing can many times be considered activities that are done with others in harmony!
7. Language development
This may seem like an obvious one as your child can be exposed to more words and expressions, but additionally, the rhythm and rhyme of music hold the sounds of language and flow that words and speech follow.
How can music be easily incorporated into your child’s daily life?
At Ethos we incorporate music into our schedules with all children through weekly music classes! We also incorporate the usage of musical instruments of all kinds and intentional introduction of rhythms, beats, and genres of music in our daily happenings.
Below we share with you some ways you can easily add some rhythm into your child’s daily lives at home:
- Make music part of your routine: Music is a great tool to make transitions easier and fun. It works as a cue for the beginning or the end of an activity. You can choose your child’s favorite songs or create your own. For instance when you are getting in the car to go to school, you may sing: “the wheels on the car go round and round…”. Or maybe you always sing “twinkle twinkle little star” when it is time to go to bed or wash your child’s teeth. Have fun and get silly, your child will love it if you change the lyrics or insert his/her name in it.
- Finger Play: Finger play songs support small motor development and encourage language development.
- Language of Music: Use vocabulary associated with music such as loud, soft, beat, slow, rhythm.
- Song-based games: Songs like “heads, shoulders, knees and toes” or “freeze dance” build body awareness and other skills such as coordination, memory and attention.
- Play music from different Cultures: Exposure to different cultural songs (your own and others) can allow for conversations about the different instruments, sounds, rhythms we hear as well as the diversity amongst us! (https://www.mamalisa.com is a website that shares with us music from different cultures and places).
Music is an avenue for children to understand themselves and the world they live in. So the next time your child starts singing their favorite song or nursery rhyme, join in knowing that it is much more than a concert, but a channel for brain development and bonding with you!
Till Next Post,
Ethos Early Learning Center Educator
The list below contributed to the suggestions above and also offer additional ideas and resources for you and your family:
Brown, L. L. (2012, May 7). The benefits of music education. Retrieved May 03, 2021, from https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/the-benefits-of-music-education
Carlton, E.B. 2000. Learning through music: The support of brain research. Child Care Exchange 133 (May/June): 53–56.
Flom, R., D.A. Gentile, & A.D. Pick. 2008. Infants’ discrimination of happy and sad music. Infant Behavior and Development 31 (4): 716–28.
Fink, C., & Marxer, M. (n.d.). 10 ways babies learn when we sing to them. Retrieved May 01, 2021, from https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/10-ways-babies-learn-sing-to-them
Geist, Eugene. “Support Math Readiness through Music .” NAEYC, www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/support-math-readiness-through-music.
Lerner , Claire, and Rebecca Parlakian . “Beyond Twinkle, Twinkle: Using Music with Infants and Toddlers.” ZERO TO THREE, 11 Aug. 2016, www.zerotothree.org/resources/1514-beyond-twinkle-twinkle-using-music-with-infants-and-toddlers.
Message in a Backpack for K.M. Hemple, J.J. Batey, & L.C. Hartle, 2008, “Music Play,” Teaching Young Children 1 (2): 10–12Sashitzky, Isaac. “Why Do We Love Music?” Dana Foundation, Dana Foundation, 16 Sept. 2019, www.dana.org/article/why-do-we-love-music/