The Benefits of Listening to Music

Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons by kishta allen.

Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is turn up my music. When I get in my car, I turn on my music. While playing with my charge, C, we listen to music. I teach him important concepts through the use of music. If you’re like me and you unconsciously do the same, you may not know the positive impact you are having on your charge!

Language Development

While we are focusing on reading and using a variety of words to help build a child’s vocabulary, we should also involve music. The left side of the brain is known to be connected with the more academic characteristics such as language processing. Studies have shown that an education in music can aid in the development of the left side of the brain and alter the brain circuits. An early way to accomplish this in  young minds is to link new information to familiar songs. Starting at a young age will help in the development of language and change the way the brain is working.

Adding music to your everyday schedule is easy. It can be as simple as having music on in the background while your charges play or work. Use rhymes and repetition to help them learn new lessons or expand what they already know. You can use melodies to well-known nursery rhymes and just add new words. For example, if you are teaching a kid to wash their hands, change the words from “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” to “Wash, Wash, Wash Your Hands.” The possibilities are endless, and it will make the lessons fun!

Socialization

By helping children to develop a solid vocabulary, you are also opening them up to the ability to socialize with others. When kids feel confident in their ability to communicate, they will be more likely to approach others. Attending music classes or beginning to play an instrument gives kids the opportunity to meet new people with a similar interest. Bands and vocal groups are like any other team a child joins. They require collaboration, hard work, and understanding of the craft. Music provides a great opportunity to introduce children to new cultures. Not only can you research their movements, but also their rhythms, clothing, and languages.  This can teach young kids to be empathetic with others and to be respectful toward other races, cultures, and religions. By helping children understand other cultures and diversity, you are opening up the ability to socialize with people they may not interact with on a daily basis.

Stress Relief

There is a reason we choose to sing nursery rhymes when children are playing and lullabies when you are putting them down to sleep. Music can greatly impact your mood. When I notice C is starting to get a bit rambunctious and overwhelmed, I yell, “Dance break!” Sometimes we slow dance to calm down, and sometimes we jam out to get the wiggles out. Gauging your charge’s state of mind will help you find the right music to help them better cope with a situation. It will also give them something to turn to in the future as a way to help their mood.

The Joy of Music

For most, listening to music is an emotional experience. We feel a connection to the music, the lyrics, or the artist. We feel the joy, pain, and love in every note, and it changes our lives. You will never meet an artist who does not give credit for their craft to another. It all starts with the introduction of music in their daily lives. You may not be taking care of the next Bach, George Jones, or Taylor Swift, but you are helping them develop a love for a timeless art.

 

                                                                        References

"Twelve Benefits of Music Education - NEMC." National Educational Music Company. Web. 11 Mar. 2015. http://www.nemc.com/resources/articles/twelve-benefits-of-music-education_25

"Twelve Benefits of Music Education." Music Education Online. 29 Nov. 2014. Web. 11 Mar. 2015. http://www.childrensmusicworkshop.com/twelve-benefits-of-music-education