For young children in particular, music can be extremely valuable in enhancing personal, social and educational development. It is important therefore for parents to encourage their child’s budding interest in music. This interest and interaction with music can lead to strengthened maths, dance, reading, creative thinking and visual arts skills.
Although research is on-going into the effects of music on children, including those still in the womb, active music making is thought to be linked with benefits such as better language and mathematical ability, improved results at school, better-adjusted social behaviour and even improvements in spatial awareness.
If a child is able to develop a strong basic spatial understanding early on, they will develop the more complex spatial reasoning skills needed for later in life i.e. reading and understanding maps and graphs.
There is evidence too of music aiding memory development and retrieval in pre-school aged children. Children love repetition so singing familiar songs and making music, even with simple percussion instruments, can be greatly beneficial. Action songs, which require children to move their hands or bodies to the music or make sounds, are particularly good.
Introducing your child to music at an early age does more than simply foster a life-long love of music as an art form. Encouraging them not only to listen to music but to interact and become involved with the act of making music is a valuable step in your child’s development. By involving children in music you are helping to expand their positive problem-solving skills and develop memory skills.
On a personal and social level, the benefits for the child are huge; by giving them a way of expressing themselves, you will be encouraging their creativity and improving their self-confidence and self-esteem.
Remember, you don’t need any special musical ability to start enjoying music with your child. Learning together can become a great new way of interacting and bonding.