Music is magical. It has the power to alter a person’s mood, subtly educate and create long lasting impressions. It is everywhere and, for children, it can have the same positive effects as it does for adults. Some studies suggest that even in the womb, the constant rhythm of the heart beat contributes to a baby’s calm. Others believe that playing music can impact the mood of the baby through either the melody, chords or perhaps through the knock on effect of the mother’s mood. Either way, music is a powerful force and one which is sometimes overlooked when it comes to child care.
The Power of Music..
Experts have determined that music increases the amount of dopamine in the brain, a chemical which enhances the mood, producing positive thoughts and feelings. Music allows people to escape their everyday worries or be transported back to a specific moment, person or feeling due to the nature of its power and the nostalgic connection we are able to form with specific songs and melodies. So, how can we use music with little ones to develop their skills and positivity?
The Benefits of Music on Children..
When little ones listen to or play music, they develop a range of skills. Hearing the sounds of words and the repetition of these develops literacy and memory skills. Dancing along to music is a fantastic way to build motor skills and coordination, allowing the brain and body to work in a synchronised manner. Expression through music can enhance children’s social and emotional development as they have an additional outlet for the ups and downs of everyday life. Whilst these skills seem to impact children at an early age, they continue to grow throughout, helping children to persevere, solve problems and be more emotionally confident at a later stage in their childhood.
There are a variety of musical classes for babies and toddlers within local communities. Taking toddlers to Monkey Music or Sing and Sign once a week is a great way to see how professionals use music to stimulate and engage children – it is loud and energetic and fun for all. Also, have a look at your local library to see what sessions are held for toddlers – look out for Rhyme Time! For slightly older children, taking them to music lessons or singing groups provides opportunities for them to try out different instruments and see what sorts of things they enjoy. This will build their confidence immensely and will hopefully help their love of music to blossom.
Music is truly magical – do not underestimate the power of background instrumental music to calm a hyper child or an upbeat song to draw a little one out of a bad mood. It is in everything we watch, listen to and even think about; embrace it and see what positive effects it can have on your charge.