CHS Blog

Learning Through Music

Learning Through Music
Posted on January 28, 2022 by CHS

Listening to and making music is an engaging activity that helps children learn and develop. The benefits of music start early on, as studies show that exposing babies in the womb to music can promote the building of their neural bridges. The advantages of music exposure and participation continue as children grow, and families can create enriching musical experiences to encourage their child’s development.   

Before children can talk, they develop and practice listening skills. As children grow, these skills become essential to hearing and distinguishing letters of the alphabet and identifying words and sounds in the environment. For example, songs and instrumental music can encourage listening skills when children pay attention to the words, sounds, pitches, and rhythms they hear. Playing with instruments and experimenting with materials that make sounds promote listening skills by allowing children to notice, identify, and create different sounds.

Singing is especially helpful for children’s expanding language abilities. Singing songs can introduce children to new words and allow them to learn their meaning. It encourages children to talk, as they guess the word that comes next. Having children say nursery rhymes while patting a steady beat is one way to encourage them to speak more clearly. Language processing skills can also improve as children learn musical elements of timing, pitch, and timbre .

Involvement in music can benefit children in their academic achievement. Rhythm skills acquired by listening to, playing, and moving to music may enhance a child’s math abilities later in life, promote problem-solving skills, and even increase overall intelligence. Having children repeatedly hear and sing songs can strengthen short-term and long-term memory. Musical experiences in childhood can also help with reading, concentration, and attention span.  

Below are tips and activities parents can utilize to facilitate their child’s learning and development through the joyous experience of music.

  • Provide instruments for your child, such as tambourines, bells, and egg shakers.  
  • Make connections between activities and songs, such as “Clean Up.”
  • Play soft background music, which can be soothing for children and infants, especially at sleep time.
  • Dance with your child. Help young children move their bodies to music.
  • Use familiar songs to strengthen vocabulary and memory. Encourage your child to listen carefully.
  • Gather a group of children in a circle and assign each one a sound or instrument. Each child takes a turn being the leader and leads the rest of the group in playing together at a certain speed, volume, or rhythm.

References and Resources
Music for Kids: Music Games & Activities
The Benefits of Using Music with Young Children
Learning at Home: Family Band Making Tambourines Activity
13 Awesome Music Activities For Kids
Children and Music: Benefits of Music in Child Development
Learning Through Music
The Effects of Music on Childhood Development
Fun Music Activities for Little Kids
Language and Literacy Learning Through Music
Support Math Readiness Through Music
Learning Through Music: The Support of Brain Research
Music Is an Important Ingredient for Child Development and Parent-Child Relationships

Sign up for CHS updates
Areas of Interest


Children’s Home Society of California’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Service have changed. Click here to learn more.