Some of my strongest and fondest memories of raising my daughters so far (now 2 and 4) are of making and listening to music together. Intuitively, I knew music made us all happy and was a wonderful bonding experience. Recently, however, I have become more and more aware of studies showing just how beneficial it is. The benefits are numerous, but here are a few of the most notable ones.
Music has been shown to benefit the brain in many ways. One benefit is its impact on language development. According to the Children’s Music Workshop, the effect of music education on language development can actually be seen in the brain. “Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information can also help imprint information on young minds,” the group states.
In fact, one big study shows that playing music with my toddlers may even be more beneficial to their development than reading to them- improving numeracy, social skills, and attention span more than shared book reading. So sing and dance away!
Exposure to music early on introduces kids to a hobby that they can carry with them their whole lives. It is a wonderful vehicle to unwind from stress in a healthy way which allows them to express themselves and be creative. Playing TV, surfing the web or playing video games can’t even begin to compete with these benefits!
So keep making, playing and listening to music with your kids and grandkids- how often do you find something that is both so fun AND good for them!?