Children love music. Some children love to sing; others bang on drums, and still other dance to the beat. Fun, interesting, and rhythmic songs draw the attention of nearly every child. However, did you know that music is more than just fun for a child? Research shows that regular exposure to music carries great benefits for children’s developing brains. Here are some of the ways that music programs for toddlers play an important role in their overall development.
Increased Ability to Learn
Research shows that exposure to music improves a child’s memory and cognitive development. Combining music and movement, which often happens in music programs for toddlers, encourages their young brains to make connections in other parts of their daily lives. In fact, a recent study showed similar benefits for older children and adults as well. It showed the connection between musical training and working memory (holding several ideas in your head at once), flexible thinking, and processing speed.
Music programs for toddlers help reinforce their already growing vocabulary and language skills. A study has shown evidence that musical instruction enhances the maturity of auditory parts of the brain which also link to language and reading. Speaking chants and singing simple songs are an excellent start to opening up those pathways for continued language development. Syntax, rhyming, and rhythm are all skills that encourage a child’s phonemic awareness.
Social Skills and School Readiness
Simply being in a group with a common goal is of great benefit for young children. Learning to listen, take turns, work as a team, and empathize are all natural consequences of music programs for toddlers. Early childhood is a time when children are learning to see themselves as part of a group as well as an individual. The best way to prepare children for school is to give them a wide range of experiences within a safe community. A structured, gentle time of learning goes a long way toward developing the skills a child needs to be successful in school and other environments.
One of the biggest benefits of music instruction for small children is the integration of the body and the brain. Hearing music, making music, and moving to music are all skills that require both physical and mental responses. As a child interacts with music in various ways, he or she learns more about the connections between our bodies and the world around us. Music is stimulating and inspiring. Music programs for toddlers give small children the opportunity to explore their own thoughts and feelings, as well as those of others.
There is a significant amount of research that suggests that music exposure and instruction increases academic achievement throughout childhood. The results of musical education range from increased test standardized test scores to spatial intelligence (which is a required skill for mathematical understanding) to increased IQ. While it might be hard to believe that music programs for toddlers could lead to better math skills, research shows a definite connection. It is clear that a diverse and expansive education results in better achievement across the board.
There really is no downside to exposing children to the world of music. We all know the way that music gives a unique voice to our feelings and experiences. The sooner we give that gift to small children, the better. Additionally, the joy and fun that takes place in music programs for toddlers, as little ones dance and sing, is hard to deny. Instead of emphasizing solely academic instruction for small children, it is essential that we prioritize the communal learning experiences of different sorts. If you are searching for a loving and enriching environment for your child, please visit your local Legacy Academy today!