When you hear your favorite song how does it make you feel? People usually feel happy as they listen to the beat. A good beat can make a bad day better and put a smile on your face.
Guess what? It can do the same for kids, and more! When it comes to children’s brains and development, music can do wonders. Let’s take a look at some of the amazing effects.
Music and Brain Development
The impact music can have on the brain is pretty mind-blowing. Research has shown that music training before the age of seven can change the brain’s structure and function. One study uncovered that the white matter in the corpus callosum can increase, which results in more brain connectivity.
Research also indicates that music training can help children’s auditory systems mature faster compared with children who don’t have music training. This could accelerate their development of language and reading, as well as in other areas.
Early music training has also been shown to increase the gray matter in the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that’s in charge of sensory and motor skills. The improved coordination can also help to control emotions. This can prevent kids from overreacting and help them handle frustration better. Musical training can increase the blood flow in the left side of the brain which can help them process language better.
Music and Memory
Who doesn’t want to have a better memory? Even children can benefit from better memory function. Research from the Institute for Music and the Mind at McMaster University in Ontario indicates that musical training can modify the brain’s auditory cortex. Laurel Trainor, director of the Institute, suggests that since playing music with others requires a lot of attention and memory, it may lead to an even greater effect on memory.
Music and IQ
When it comes to brain power, music can also have a big impact. In a 2006 study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, researchers found that music lessons seemed to improve a child’s IQ and academic performance.
Music and Spatial Reasoning
Music can also impact temporal and spatial reasoning skills. Research by psychologist Dr. Frances Rauscher and neuroscientist Gordon Shaw discovered that children who took music lessons did better on those types of tasks compared with kids who took computer lessons. Classical music has been found to be especially helpful when it comes to spatial reasoning in children. This may be because classical music is more mathematical and more complex than other types of music.
Learning to play music can also have an impact on spatial reasoning. Researchers found that children who took piano lessons for six months improved their ability to finish puzzles and do other spatial tasks by as much as 30%. Many believe that musical instructions make new pathways in the brain that help with these types of tasks.
Strengthening the Brain’s Executive Functions
A 2014 study found that learning a musical instrument improves and strengthens the brain’s executive functions. The brain’s executive functions cover things like problem-solving, controlling behavior, and making good choices. These are all skills that can help kids as they grow up.
Music and Social Development
While brain development is important when it comes to children, so is social development. A study from the Florida International University’s Community Based Research Institute found that school music groups have a positive impact on the “5 C’s of social development”. These 5 C’s are:
- Caring Character
After studying children learning music in an orchestra setting, they found that these children all showed an increase in all of the 5 C’s of social development.
Music and Babies
Music can also have a positive impact on babies. A study at McMaster University found that babies who were part of an interactive music class had better communication skills and smiled more than babies who didn’t take part in these classes. Many people believe that exposing babies to some form of music at a young age leads to happier babies. Let the music play!
There’s also research that shows that after babies listen to music, their auditory and prefrontal cortexes look different. These are the parts of the brain in charge of processing music and speech.
Music at Rock and Roll Daycare
At our Rock and Roll Daycare location in Alexandria, children are also getting exposed to music and getting the benefits of these musical brain boosts. From our smallest babies to our busy six-year-olds, kids in Alexandria are getting the gift of music each day. Every day brings fun singalongs, instruments, games, and more!
As we approach the new year, we’re excited to continue to let the music play and let our children get in tune with everything music has to offer!