Music Matters

 

The do-re-mi’s aren’t just a way to get out energy – singing and instrument play can be therapeutic, transformative, and enlightening. This is especially true during early childhood development from age 0 to 8, when the mind develops at a swift speed – picking up on cues, decoding sounds and mimicking.  

Image A Source: C.A. Nelson (2000). Credit: Center on the Developing Child

Image A Source: C.A. Nelson (2000). Credit: Center on the Developing Child

According to “The Science of Early Childhood Development” brief produced by Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child: 700 new neural connections are formed every second in the first few years of life. See Image A (left) for what this proliferation looks like from a scientist’s standpoint. When the brain is at it’s most flexible or “plastic,” learning comes more handily – making it a critical time to be exposed to all skills, expressly music.

Music sounds singular but it asks a lot of the brain: pattern detection, sound identification, emotional resonance, physical movement and more.

This means multiple cortices can be working at once. Such concepts are further reinforced in this study performed as a collaboration by two professors – one at Harvard University and one at Boston College. Its 2009 findings show that receiving weekly music instruction and practicing regularly equated to better sound discrimination and an improvement in fine motor skill tasks.

To build on the growing list of perks, Yale School of Medicine professor Dr. Kyle Pruett shared his discovery of a causal link between music and spatial intelligence with PBS. (Think: the way you envision a chorus as separate from a verse.)

Sound and music are so vital to our development that many of the CDC’s Developmental Milestones include these cues:

4 Months: Begins to copy sounds

Encourage this milestone with Lavender Blues Music. Kids develop an understanding of rhythm and music, build awareness and control of their body as well as develop social and coordination skills---all while singing, dancing and having fun.

2 Years: Repeats words overheard in conversation

Use this time as an opportunity to repeat words in other languages too. Try LangoKids Mandarin Playgroup for exposure to catchy Mandarin songs that your child will start sharing with mom and dad. It’s an important stepping stone in a child’s linguistic and cognitive development.

4 Years: Sings a song (e.g. Wheels on the Bus)

Reinforce Mix it up with new, fun songs at Early Musicianship, which introduces early singers to tempo, dynamics, and timbre in addition to loads of instruments.

5 Years: Likes to sing, dance and act

Reinforce what your child is doing naturally or motivate them to let loose at FunikiJam Music & Movement. This class allows little ones to leverage music as a springboard for movement and coordination and rhythm development.