Various studies have revealed that music has a direct impact on a child’s brain development and to be more specific it enhances acquisition of language as well as reading skills. These benefits are often realized when a child is exposed to music from a very early age be it playing musical instruments, music games and so on. Whereas many parents expose their children to music instinctively, this is actually a requirement that has proven to boost child development.
We look at 5 interesting ways music helps with child development and we’ll focus on different age groups.
Benefits of music on infants 0 to 12 months old
The interesting thing about infants is that they learn to recognize melodies of different songs way before they can understand the words. You will notice that once infants learn how to produce sounds and even move their bodies they will always try to mimic the different melodies in a song and even attempt to dance to the music. This greatly boosts their process of speech recognition and language development.
Benefits of music on toddlers 1 to 3 years old
At this stage, toddlers have learnt how to mimic and dance to songs. This is the stage at which they develop their memorization as well as language skills through constant repetition of songs. Parents are encouraged to engage their children with interesting songs that can be used as a tool for fun as well as learning new words.
Benefits of music on preschoolers 3 to 5 years old
At this stage in a child’s development, they have already begun to develop understanding it’s therefore important to expose them to songs that are instructional in nature. Because they already enjoy music and they are beginning to understand basic language, music can be used to teach them various day to day things like brushing their teeth, eating healthy, making friends and so on.
Benefits of music on school-age children 5 to 12 years old
At this stage of a child’s development music is a very important learning aide. Because the children already understand basic language and they have developed their speech, music can help them memorize content that is more complex such as sequence of events, counting, spelling and so on. Many teachers will incorporate music in their lessons when they are dealing with children in this age bracket. This is also the time you are likely to start noticing inborn musical talent in the children.
Benefits of music on teenagers 13 to 19 years old
At this point, kids will already be in a position to identify the type of music they like or dislike and this plays a role in the type of friendships they form. Teenagers will often hang out with fellow teenagers who share in their interests and these are ultimately the friends they will have in their circles. Music forms a major part of shared interests and you will often find them hanging out during breaks or after school to discuss music among other things. Here, music plays a crucial role in their socialization. At this stage music is also a very good teaching aid for complex subjects such as math, science and even literature.
Parents are therefore encouraged to expose their children to as much music as possible as they grow up and vet the music to ensure the content is good because this music is their first exposure to language and their speech development.