Newborns, Infants, Toddlers and Music: Good or Bad?

by William Gist
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If you look around you, you will find that music is everywhere. It has become a part of our everyday life. Doesn’t matter if we are young or old, we listen to the music of different kinds all through the day. Whether it is part of our social or educational life.

We listen to music on our TVs, in the movies, TikTok or Facebook videos, YouTube, and others. It is a part of all types of our ceremonies and celebrations. Almost all types of governmental ceremonies are accompanied by a band or some other kind of music. We sing songs and play music at birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries. We have music to worship god.

source:fatherly.com

You would be hard-pressed to find a child that does not enjoy music or does not feel like singing along to it. Studies have shown that when parents create a musically rich environment for their children, they not only entertain them but also help develop essential life skills in the children. So, it is not a surprise that a lot of parents use music to help their children express their emotions like joy, grief, or excitement.

What Music Teaches Children?

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In the 1990s a team of researches undertook a study that showed the effects of music on children if they were exposed to it from early childhood. It showed that music helps children speak clearly, develop their vocabulary and strengthen their emotional skills and their social behavior.

Basically, music has the power to strengthen the connection between the body and the brain. For example, dancing to music helps children develop their motor skills. Singing along helps them develop their voices. Music also helps them work as a team and learn essential social skills.

Howard Gardner on Music

Howard Gardner published his famous Multiple Intelligence theory decades ago and it is still going strong. In this theory, he identified seven different ways in which humans can learn. These are:

source:savvy.is

  • Verbal – linguistic
  • Logical – mathematical
  • Visual – spatial
  • Body – kinesthetic
  • Intrapersonal
  • Interpersonal
  • Musical – rhythmic

He later added two new ways of learning to these which are called “Naturalist” and “Spiritual”.  Music intelligence is the capacity to learn things via a rhythmic style. Howard Gardner also highlighted several famous and celebrated artists and creative minds like Stravinsky and Picasso to give examples of individuals who learn best when the information is delivered in the form of patterns. According to Gardner, children or adults who have musical intelligence are more attracted to music and poetry. Are more willing to take part in plays, musical or otherwise, and can learn best if information or concepts are given in a musical way.

Music for Early Childhood

There have been scores of studies on music and its effects on young children. Apart from the many things that these studies discovered, there were two concepts that they all agreed on. Children do not react to or express music as adults to, and that the beginning years of a child are the most important ones to develop love for music.

Effects on Children

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Children react to music just like they react to words that are spoken in front of them. Even the youngest toddlers try to differentiate the tones of music, the frequency, and the beat when they listen to music. That is why the early years are so critical for the child’s development. They are building their own organizational structure and unscrambling the different parts of music so that they can understand it. This helps them with cognitive skills and brain functions. An important thing to consider here is that children learn music skills by imitating and memorizing the rhythms and tones. If they do not clap along with it, or make some other movement, they might not be able to develop their music skills.

Just like there are positive effects of music, there are also things to consider that might have negative effects on the children when they are learning music. Children need maximum exposure to music when they are growing up and making sense of the world. If that exposure is not given, they might not reach their potential of music skills.

One of the things that creates the most negative effect on children is when the parents are not musically inclined and do not support the child’s love for music.  Now we agree that it is not necessary for parents and their children to have the same intelligences. The parents might have developed different intelligences and the children might show potential for other intelligences.

So, depending on the child’s intelligence, the parents can go for outside coaching. According to https://lessonsinyourhome.net/ They can go for gardening classes in Ontario, or Visual studies classes in Oregon, or private piano lessons in Atlanta. No matter where they are, they can have easy access to all sorts of after-school coaching classes depending on their child’s interests and potential.

The Role of Parents

source:thoughtco.com

Whether we talk about musical education or any other type of education, parents play the most important role in a child’s life. Schools and teachers everywhere have been pointing out the fact that children whose families are more inclined towards music have more developed music skills and behaviors.

source:thoughtco.com

Researchers have also been making their opinions and their research known in this matter. They also state that children who are exposed to music at an early age in their homes develop a stronger bond with their parents as compared to children who are not exposed to music. Playing music together is very important for children. This way music is not only a tool that helps children reach their maximum potential, it is also a bonding method that brings families closer.

What Now?

Let’s face it. There’s no downside to letting your child play or listen to music. On the other hand, allowing children to do so positively affects them in many ways. It helps them become better students, better citizens and better humans. It also helps them make sense of the world and bond with their families more.

Not to mention the fact that music improves a child’s ability to move, listen, and act. Apart from this, music has a calming effect on children and the entertainment factor is always there. So, as long as your young ones enjoy music, let them explore it and let them adapt to it as much as they want to. It will give them a brighter future.

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