“Music is the universal language of mankind.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Some believe that babies in their mother’s womb can already hear sounds projected by the mother. Be it classical, folk, contemporary, or jazz, what is most important is that the music must interest the child”, says Dr Carol Loy, Curriculum Director of Kinderland.
Dr Carol further adds, “Young children learn through experiences, the activity linked to the music is just as important. For example, lively happy music linked to smiles and laughter will help the child to connect positively and meaningfully to the music.”
This is why early stimulation for your newborn is so important. Every experience enhances their synapses and builds the brain structures.
Why is it important to start music education as early as preschool? The early years of childhood is a period of rapid development, researchers believe that the earlier a child is exposed to music, the more the brain responds to different music tones. The earlier a child studies music, the more rhythmic integration, movement, and learning can help to strengthen the brain. Musical aptitude can also be influenced in the early years, and music training – through playing and listening to music – before the age of seven has a significant effect on the parts of the brain related to planning and motor skills and full stimulation of the brain, engaging both the left and right sides of the brain.
Dr Loy discusses how music and the learning of it can help boost your child’s development.
Why introduce music to children?
Music is important in contributing to well-rounded early childhood education. Research has shown that music affects brain development in various ways:
Music helps develop language and literacy skills
Singing and music help stimulate various senses and help children in learning and developing language skills. According to a paper published in 2012 – “Frontiers in Cognitive Auditory Neuroscience” by Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and University of Maryland, College Park – “infants listen first to sounds of language and only later to its meaning”. By repeating sounds associated with words they remember vocabulary and basic parts of speech.
Music helps develop communication skills
Music develops listening, reading and writing skills, improving the fluency of speech and communication.
Music enhances physical development
Through playing easy instruments such as drums and other percussion instruments, children learn crucial coordination skills such as dancing to different rhythms, helping them to develop whole-body coordination. Music boosts motor skills and improves rhythm and movement.
Music helps develop cognitive skills
Singing along to favourite songs and listening to classical music stimulates different patterns of brain development. Children’s memory power, concentration, spatial intelligence, and thinking skills improve through exposure and active participation in musical experiences.
Music enhances individual development
Through music-making, children develop social-emotional skills such as better self-control, higher self-esteem, and confidence.
Music’s form and structure can bring order and security, enhance communication and help improve discipline
At Kinderland preschools, signature tunes are introduced to communicate specific instructions for the children, such as for nap time and when to wake up. In addition, soothing tunes played during nap time help calm the children down. Even if they do not feel like sleeping – they will lie still and fidget less rather than feel inclined to call out for attention. Music is also played is when a child undergoes a cool-down period after a series of intense exercise. This helps to slow down the pulse and heart rate, lower blood pressure, and calm the child.
Our Move with Music Programme (MMP) is a movement-based music programme, uniquely designed to nurture, refine, and extend our little ones’ musical abilities and enjoyment through songs, musical stories, percussion instruments and expressive movement.
Our Children Music Programme (CMP) is taught by professionally qualified music teachers to our 5- and 6-year olds in Kindergarten 1 and 2, who are introduced to weekly keyboard lessons to further develop their hearing, singing, keyboard playing, and notation reading skills.
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Also read Chores and Children