Scientific research on the effects of music on children is always a common subject among educators and parents. Compared to the long history of research on language, our scientific understanding of music is relatively new. What they do know is unborn babies respond to music in the womb from around 17 to 19 weeks. Research has also shown that everything from nursery rhymes to musical toys to dance lessons to learning a musical instrument all strengthen a child’s educational, physical, and emotional development. This is good news for parents because enriching the lives of their children with music can be easily accomplished.
So does Music Make My Child Smarter?
Daniel J. Levitan wrote in his book ‘The World in Six Songs” about how a simple song like “Patty-Cake” teaches a child coordination. In regards to memory training think of how children learn the alphabet by following a melody almost identical to Twinkle Twinkle walk around the house singing TV jingles. Imagine if instead your child sang songs using complex physics formulas or Shakespeare. Rhythm and song are indeed strong and powerful educators.
Why action speaks louder than word.
Over the years I have seen an overwhelming amount of evidence. When learning a song, a musical instrument or a dance step children experience the unique integration of body and mind that music provides. Studies show that when you read something you only retain around 10% after one week. When you role play or act out something you retain 90%. Playing or singing music has the effect of integrating what you learn into your memory in the same way. Sensory integration is a crucial factor in a child’s learning readiness for school especially in subjects such as reading, writing, and maths.
Start early and use variety.
Music improves spatial-temporal, a neurological process needed to understand mathematics. The best way to enhance your child’s learning with music is to encourage listening to and learning music throughout the child’s developmental years. Try to do it in a variety of ways that are enjoyable and fun, then let your child’s own interest and aptitudes guide your choices of lessons and activities. There are many early development courses available for young children and most are worthwhile.
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