Did you ever notice when a song you love comes on the radio it immediately improves your mood? It’s just one of the many benefits music has on our lives.
When it comes to kids and music, the benefits are actually mind-blowing. Research has shown that when kids learn to play music, their brains get trained to hear and process sounds they couldn’t hear otherwise. This helps them develop what scientists call “neurophysiological distinction” between sounds. This ability can help kids when it comes to reading and other academic skills.
For children who are just learning to speak, music can be extremely beneficial. According to the Children’s Music Workshop, musical training develops the part of the left side of the brain that is used to process language. Playing music, even if it’s just using egg shakers in a pre-school class, prompts children to use their motor skills as well as learn coordination.
Researchers have also found that learning music can help kids when it comes to grouping objects and thoughts. These visualization techniques and problem solving skills are similar to ones young children will learn later down the road in math classes and other areas.
But, in order for kids to truly get the benefits of a music class, they need to play an active role.
A Northwestern University study found that kids who learn a musical instrument, really pay attention and participate showed larger improvements in reading scores as well as how their brain processes speech compared with their less-involved peers.
While the research on the benefits of music and how they relate to scholastic abilities are impressive, you can’t forget about how much music helps to build a child’s creativity. Whether kids are making up their own beats or singing their own lyrics to a silly song, they are using their minds to create something that no one else has before. This spirit of individuality is one that needs to be celebrated along with the scholastic benefits.
Along with this spirit of individuality comes confidence. It doesn’t matter if your child is belting out the words to “Old MacDonald” or playing an instrument in a concert that they’ve been practicing for months; the ability to perform builds confidence. These days, kids need all the confidence they can get. Although every child moves to the beat of his or her own drum, the benefits of music in child development are universal and don’t discriminate.