Music has been made and enjoyed throughout history, it is a powerful and effective way to spread a message, tell a story or express your feelings.
But for a young child music has the ability to ignite all areas of development. Music has the ability to improve intellectual, social – emotional, motor, language and Maths skills. Music strengthens the connection between the body and the brain, to work together.
Irrespective of age, children have an inborn love for music, they instinctively bounce, move or sway in response to music heard, even if they do not understand or are unable to sing the lyrics of the song. Singing is so natural for children. It can bring so much joy to any occasion.
Exposure to music from an early age helps children speak clearly and develop a larger vocabulary. Music requires a child to listen, interpret what has been heard and repeat it correctly. They hear how sounds differ from one another thereby enhancing auditory discrimination skills. Listening and singing along to songs can lead to improvement in a child’s understanding of language.
When a child feels the beat in their feet, they cannot help but clap, jump, wiggle, or dance. Through music a child learns co-ordination, balance and control. Thereby developing both fine motor and gross motor skills. Dancing is definitely among the best ways to encourage a love of music in children.
When music and movement activities are included into a preschool curriculum, children’s self-confidence and ability to cooperate with their peers increases. Singing and dancing as a group allows children to learn the importance of respecting others’ space and to practice working in a cohesive group in order to achieve a common goal. Music teaches respect, teamwork and collaboration.
Music and movement allow children to encounter many opportunities to practice counting in a fun interactive way, keeping them engaged and excited to learn. Counting can be taught using songs and tunes. By listening to music and playing instruments, pre-schoolers will learn to mimic a beat and therefore translate that into simple patterns. Music allows pre-schoolers to be captivated and eager to learn.
Both music and movement are an important aspect in any preschool environment, which cannot be underestimated. When both music and movement are incorporated into the school day it prepares children’s minds for effective learning throughout their school years.
However, home is the most important learning environment in a child’s lifetime, and the role of parent’s is a crucial one in this dynamic period of development. Parents should sing and play music often to their children as nothing is more important for a child’s musical development. We have more access to music than ever before. When it comes to listening to music with your children, listen to music you love and try to expand your musical tastes. Children are born without musical preference, if they love a song, it’s because they just love the song. Their taste in music is untainted by society. Parents should take their children to live performances, if they want to inspire a lifelong love of music.
Music can mean different things to different people; everyone has their own idea of why music is important to them. No matter what people feel, music has undeniably got the power to feed one’s soul.
“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” ― Billy Joel
By Mrs Janette Gartside, Teacher at Pinnacle College Rynfield