Music plays an important role in family life. Mothers sing lullabies to soothe their small children, toddlers learn nursery rhymes and catchy little tunes, and some of the first gifts children receive are toys that produce music and sounds, and miniature instruments. Have you ever noticed how a rattle resembles a maraca? But, why is that?
Music can create or even amplify our emotions and evoke memories. It transcends time and space and brings people together. It’s a very powerful thing and now more than ever we are learning that the introduction to music at an early age is crucial for young, developing minds.
Here’s why introducing music and musical instruments to your little ones from a young age will help them thrive.
Music Increases Cognitive DevelopmentThe moment a child is able to grasp a rattle and shake it his brain is already learning from music. Babies like the sound rattles produce and learn fine motor skills by grasping small objects. They learn cause and effect when shaking the rattle to produce noise and this helps foster brain development. The same can be said for other musical instruments for toddlers and children who have more control over their bodies. A child’s imagination grows and develops along with his right brain creative power when he learns to make different sounds by pressing different buttons or striking different keys. Using child-size instruments gives children the confidence to play and explore with their sometimes clumsy hands without the fear of damaging expensive adult instruments. A great first piano for toddlers and children is the Kub Smart Piano which allows children to learn to play with three different teaching modes and many added effects and features.
Music Builds Motor Skills
Playing an instrument at a young age helps children build important fine motor skills. Hand and finger control is developed while playing instruments which are important building blocks for other coordination milestones like self-feeding, fork control and learning to write. Many children’s nursery rhymes like “Where is Thumbkin” and “5 little Ducks” include hand and finger play to encourage finger dexterity and fine motor development. Children also develop gross motor skills by dancing and moving their little bodies to the rhythm of the music and playing instruments like the drum, tambourine or bells which require more coordinated arm movements. Check out the musical drum from MomShop for hours of fun and gross motor play.
Music Engages the Senses
Learning to play a musical instrument stimulates three out of five of a child’s senses. Music can increase a child’s listening skills because a large portion of learning to play music is focused on listening and repeating. Colorful toys and mesmerizing lights stimulate the sense of sight and children are encouraged to explore, press, shake, bang, pluck, and play instruments fulfilling their sense of touch. The Kub Smart Piano has rhythmic lights and fun percussion effects that play while children practice finger dexterity striking keys of the piano. Learning is improved and senses are sharpened when two or more senses are engaged at the same time, and music fulfills those needs.
Music Improves Linguistic Development
Studies have shown that early introduction to music improves both language development and reading skills in children. A study in the Journal of Psychology found that by studying music, and specifically piano, children better vocabulary scores and are able to verbal sequence better than children who do not play a musical instrument. These abilities will greatly impact a child’s language and communication skills throughout her life.
Music Makes People Happy
Every parent has hopes and dreams for their children, and maybe one of those includes raising a little virtuoso, but there is a lot of research behind the idea that music should play an important role in family life regardless of whether you’re training a future Mozart. Music can bond people together and bring joy. There is a reason music is part of many celebration ceremonies such as weddings and parties, as well as funerals because music can bring people together and make them feel connected and also bring comfort and joy in times of sorrow. Not to mention, it’s fun! Everybody likes to dance and move their bodies to the groove now and then. Whether you need a little boost when you wake up in the morning, or you like to listen to music at the gym or while working, music can lift our spirits at any age. For children, hearing their mothers sing or listening to music while dancing around the house can create memories of early experiences and provide comfort and security in a big, unknown world.