Music really is all around us. We hear it listening to the radio on the drive to work in the mornings, playing in our favorite stores, in virtually every movie or TV show we watch and often in our head when we have nothing else to think about. However, one important benefit of music that most of us know nothing about is the fact that it can have a huge impact on the development of a baby’s brain. If you’re a parent, teacher, nanny or even an aunt or uncle, here’s what you should know.
Education Oasis’ article “Building Baby’s Brain: The Role of Music” by Diane Bales, Ph.D. discusses how listening to music could affect the ability of a brain to engage in many different tasks. For example, Bales writes, “Music seems to prime our brains for certain kinds of thinking. After listening to classical music, adults can do certain spatial tasks more quickly, such as putting together a jigsaw puzzle.” Therefore, it seems quite logical to assume that a child who always listens to music might be better at these tasks.
A Teaching Tool
Most parents want their children to learn as much as possible, so parents can and should utilize music to teach your babies some of the necessary information that they will need in the world. Bales also writes, “Hearing your voice helps your baby begin to learn language. Babies love the patterns and rhythms of songs. And even the youngest babies can recognize specific melodies once they’ve heard them…And setting words to music actually helps the brain learn them more quickly and retain them longer.” If you sing the ABCs to your children on a regular basis, for example, they might learn the letters more quickly than if you just spoke the words to them.
As you can see in the above example, music also has a role in teaching language to babies. Of course, this generally applies only if we are discussing music with lyrics. Other types of songs can have many positive effects on babies, but would not necessarily teach them how to speak. Whether you are singing to your baby or playing a CD over and over again, babies will become used to the different words, and maybe even the ways you form your mouth to speak them. Clearly, music can be a major tool for little ones to say some of their very first words.
Sometimes, the effects on the brain do not have to be so complex and in-depth. A child who is exposed to music as a baby might simply have an intense love for beats or tunes. This passion could mean that the child will want to learn to play a musical instrument or perfect their vocal abilities someday. They may even eventually go onto pursue a career in music, all thanks to the fact that you engaged them early on. Don’t forget that specialists have determined that kids involved in music are more likely to succeed in school.
We all know that music really has quite a power over many people from all walks of life. Whether or not you just like to listen to it or you like to create it, it most likely has some kind of impact on your life. You might consider speaking with your parents to find out if they ever exposed you to certain kinds of music as a child 🙂
Guest post written by, Mike Shnook
Mike Shnook writes about child development and parenting. Most of her work is about the Best Masters in Psychology degrees.
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