How Music Can Affect Development in Early Childhood

Music plays an important role in your infant’s cognitive development. 

If you’ve been considering the use of music in your daily routine with your child, there’s a good reason to do so. It’s a powerful, accessible tool. 

Many electronic children’s toys feature short, sweet jingles, and plenty of parents turn on lullabies before bedtime. We so often expose young children and infants to music without even considering the positive benefits!

To learn more about the influence of music in early childhood, keep reading below. You’ll be amazed at what music can do for your family. 

Improvement of Motor Skills

Watching your child learn new motor skills is heart-warming as a parent. Even a child doing something as simple as holding their own fork will send a smile across your face. 

Working to improve motor skills during an early childhood age is crucial for an individual’s development. Motor skills allow us to prepare food, get dressed in the morning, and lock a door as we leave the home. 

Encouraging your child to complete certain actions while listening to music improves body and mind coordination. Your child can clap along with a recorded drum sound or make their own music by tapping a spoon on a metal pot.

If you would like to work on improving motor skills through music, model the action for your child. Show them how to properly hold a spoon to tap on a pot and how to use their palms to clap. 

A Musical Brain Boost

Give your child a brain boost with music. A study revealed how music helps children with language development, sound processing, speech, and reading. 

More specifically, the study demonstrated how music and music instruction helps an individual’s auditory pathway mature at an excelled rate. That’s why mini maestros are so smart!

Does your child have developmental disabilities? Many teachers and therapists use music while working to improve speech and reading skills. 

Breaking down syllables to the beats of a catchy tune can help your child learn how to read. Some students read complete sentences better when they’re able to match the words to the beat of a song. 

It’s Time to Get Creative

In addition to speech and motor skills, music for children is key when it comes to creativity! Allowing a child to explore their creative abilities and interests is beneficial to their emotional and mental development. 

Music teaches children the importance of creative experimentation, consistent practise, collaboration, and self-awareness. It’s fun to try new instruments and learn new songs. It’s even more fun to play music with friends and discover your own emotions through music. 

Many young children with access to musical instruments or art materials grow up understanding the importance of healthy hobbies that aid in emotional regulation. This is because music increases grey matter found within the cerebral cortex.

Strengthening the Social Bond Between Parent and Child

For those who are able to be involved, becoming involved in your child’s early childhood development is important. Parent involvement strengthens a child’s confidence as they learn to navigate the world around them. 

Using music to bond with your child not only boosts their brain, but it also strengthens the social bond between you two. Having consistent ‘music time’ with your young child increases their attention and emotional recognition. 

Activities to boost their attention include following the leader or repeating drum patterns.

Promote a Feeling of Relaxation

There are many moments in which you don’t know what’s irritating your child. It feels like a guessing game. This is a game played by all parents. 

Your child may be hungry, sleepy, upset at their environment, or dissatisfied by their selection of toys. What do you do when they become a bit fussy?

Find solace with a calming or engaging song! Music has a calming effect on many children or can be used as a healthy distraction. 

Music has been shown to relax the mind and raise consciousness by creating synchronisation between the brain and beats. A simple click of the Play button can bring peace to the family road trip. 

Is your child exhibiting negative behaviour? Redirect their focus by asking them to sing a song. Redirection is an effective tool used often in gentle parenting.  

The Magic of Music Therapy

The power of music extends beyond early childhood education. It also has a major therapeutic effect for children who struggle with behavioural issues and developmental disabilities. 

Children with developmental disabilities, such as autism, experience the world in a much different way than their neurotypical peers. They may have no issues solving a word search but struggle when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. 

While you may never receive an answer explaining your child’s habits, there’s a good chance you’re missing out on a crucial component of their therapy plan. Have you ever considered music therapy? 

Using music to teach children about their world is sometimes more effective than using a collection of numbers, letters, and symbols. Music is motivating, engaging, and easy to memorise. 

Because music therapy isn’t typically covered by insurance plans, it can be too expensive for many families to afford. However, plenty of parents have incorporated components of music therapy into educating their children. 

For example, instead of a parent telling a child the order in which they should dress themselves every morning, they might create a fun song for the child to sing. Sometimes it’s hard remembering to put on your pants before your shoes!

Activities to Complete With Your Child

Now that you understand the influence of music for children, you’re probably wondering how you can start exploring the benefits with your own child! Don’t worry. We’re here to help.

Activities to Practise Beat

A simple activity, as mentioned briefly above, is teaching your child to clap along with the beat of a song. It’s best to find a song with a slow, noticeable beat. 

As your child advances, try stomping instead of clapping. You can even create patterns using stomps and claps!

Does your child enjoy moving around the room? Instead of clapping, march along with the beat. Dress up in funny costumes, or use tambourines to complete the parade. 

Activities to Practise Speech

There’s no better way to improve speech at an early childhood age than singing songs. 

Find age-appropriate songs to teach your children. Help them practice clear enunciation and mouth-forming patterns as they sing. There are plenty of ‘mouth music’ resources available on the internet. 

Is your child struggling with reading and language homework? Turn the sentences into songs by creating your own beats. 

Self-made songs are fun ways to practice reading complete sentences. 

If you notice your child works better with singing than standard reading, chat with their teacher about developing personalised teaching strategies your child can use in the classroom. 

Activities to Promote Creativity

Check out local children’s stores and secondhand shops to find a small array of musical instruments. Find brightly coloured toy xylophones, tambourines, bells, and guitars. 

Show your child how to hold and use each instrument. Give them time and space to explore the different sounds each instrument makes. Allow them to experiment with playing each instrument along with their favourite songs. 

If you don’t have instruments, pull out some drawing materials. Draw with your child as they listen to classical music. Pay attention to what colours and patterns the music may encourage them to use. 

Ask your child to close their eyes as they listen to the music. Then instruct them to draw a scene they imagined while listening. 

Are you having trouble getting your child to cooperate? Have a dance party! They may just have some stored-up wiggles they need to let out. 

The Importance of Music During Early Childhood

Sure, you have your favourite bands you enjoy listening to while driving to work or taking a shower. Have you considered the importance of music during early childhood for the little ones of your family?

Besides music being fun, it also promotes the early growth of a child’s motor and speech skills. It also encourages emotional regulation, creativity, and social awareness. Plan a few musical activities for your own children to see the benefits for yourself. 

Now that you know how to better help their brain, it’s time to learn how to better their body. Learn more by checking out the rest of our site. Join the Nutura Village today by finding a retailer near you

Tags: Parent's Corner