Think of how your favourite song can lift your mood, or even expand your creative development. But, why does music play a foundational role in early childhood development?
Research has shown that from birth to age six is the most critical time for a child’s musical development because children do not hear music like adults. Before the age of six, children hear tones of music at a different frequency level, making early childhood critical in the development of their ability to memorize and mimic music and language in general. With the introduction of music at a young age, your child will learn essential skills they can continue to carry as they grow older.
Fosters Emotional Development
There’s a reason why we, as humans, have a strong connection to music and sound. According to Dr. Wolf, humans are wired to be sensitive to sound patterns. Having that sensitivity is why music can foster communication and creative expression. For those that consider music an emotional outlet, this isn’t only true for adults. Music in the early stages of childhood teaches children how to associate their feelings with the sounds and words they hear. Further research has shown that children of preschool age who participate in music or art classes correlate sounds and songs with positive emotions and feelings.
Develops Fine Motor Skills
As children grow, they begin to develop their fine motor skills and ability to coordinate smaller muscle movements in areas like hands, fingers, and wrists. Through musical toys or instruments, your child can work on skills like tapping, clapping, dancing, or bouncing. Even listening to music or sing-along songs will help develop a child’s brain and body coordination when dancing or clapping along to the rhythm.
Expands Imagination and Communication
For most people, music is an outlet that sparks creativity and imagination. Even before your baby is talking, sound-play or babbling contributes to their ability to listen and respond. Music is a great way to prompt these responses and help your child better develop communication skills by learning how to understand and mimic the musical sounds. Dr. Dennie Palmer Wolf stated in a research study, “when children hear and see others singing as a part of daily life, young children quickly pick up the habit, using sound to explore new ways to understand or describe the world around them.”