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How Music Can Help Your Child

How Music Can Help Your Child
Posted on September 19, 2016 by CHS

More than just entertainment, music provides a plethora of benefits to your child’s development and well-being. You don’t have to be a musician to help your child appreciate music and reap its profound benefits.

Why Does Music Matter?
Music is much more than just something fun to listen to in the background, or a hobby to keep your child busy. Music education helps set children up for increased brain development, academic success, and self-confidence.

Some of the many benefits of music for children are:

  • Develops logic and language skills
  • Enhances motor skills and hand-eye coordination
  • Improves memory and brain development
  • Helps fight stress
  • Increases likelihood of academic engagement and success
  • Teaches skills and patterns that can be transferred into other areas of academics
  • Instills habits of discipline
  • Encourages creativity and curiosity
  • Improves math and reading skills
  • When done in groups such as band or music class, music helps with teamwork and relationship skills
  • Builds self-confidence
  • Students involved with music tend to have higher SAT scores

Music + Movement
Music is most beneficial when kids not only listen to music, but participate in it. Even before they’re able to play an instrument, kids love to move and groove with music, sing along to their favorite TV programs, and make up their own songs.

When they dance, they use all the large muscles in their arms and legs, learn to control their bodies, release tension, and express themselves creatively. As a result, music with movement offers children physical, mental, social, and emotional benefits.

Music and movement are also powerful vehicles for learning. Children can learn skills such as following directions, working together, taking turns, spotting patterns, and more. Some great movement CD’s are: Kids in Motion by Greg and Steve, Bean Bag Activities and Coordination Skills by Kimbo, Rhythms on Parade by Hap Palmer, or Exersongs by Jack Hartman.

Tips for Encouraging Music Appreciation

  • Play children’s songs at home. Many also teach moral lessons or academic principles, and the music makes them easier to remember!
  • Listen to a variety of music – classical, jazz, acoustic, folk, country,  etc.
  • Invite children to dance to music while they hold scarves or ribbons. Let them move, sing, laugh, and play!
  • Give your child a play piano, guitar, or drum set to begin experimenting and learning how they work. You can start by using an old pot and wooden spoon for a drum, or create a shaker by filling a plastic water bottle with small rocks. Encourage children to think of ways to create their own instruments.
  • If you’re having a playdate or provide child care, try this game with a group of children:

Game: Musical Drawing

What you need: a large piece of white butcher paper, a variety of crayons, markers, pencils, paint, or non-toxic pastels, a CD/iPod player or radio, and different types of music to play.

What you do: Tape the butcher paper to a tabletop and remove the chairs from around the table. Place the drawing materials around the table. Explain to the children that when you play the music, they should draw what the music sounds like, or how it makes them feel. Encourage them to use broad strokes that follow the tempo of the music. When the music stops, the children stop drawing and walk around the table until you start a new song. Continue for as long as the children are interested, or until the paper is full of drawings.

What they learn: Children learn to follow directions, improve listening comprehension, practice self-expression, improve motor skills, engage in self-regulation, and build math skills (beat patterns). Children also have the opportunity create a cooperative piece of abstract art.

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