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Benefits of Experiencing Music at an Early Age

Some of our first memories are almost always associated with music. We are surrounded by various sounds from an early age, whether it is traffic noise, the sound of wind on a stormy night, or a sound of our parents singing to us. Even before self-consciousness, we are aware of sounds and music. So how does music affect us from early childhood? How do humans react to music from the very beginning?

Early childhood, from birth to age five, is a remarkable period in the cycle of development. Live music and human interaction are the most intense, multi-sensory, and physically intensive activities in which young children and their caregivers can engage together.

The Benefits of Maternal Exposure to Music During Pregnancy

Is it true that unborn babies react to the sound of music in the stomach, and if so, how? This is a frequently asked question. Some research suggests that babies do respond to music through movement. While in the womb, babies can recognize the mother’s voice and the rhythm of language, reacting positively to lullabies sung by their mother. Certain scientific studies have demonstrated that listening to baroque and music with lower frequencies can benefit the developing baby in the womb. According to experts, prenatal sound is critical for prenatal development because it lays the groundwork for later learning and behavior and benefits the baby’s mental, emotional, and intellectual development.

Impact of Music on Toddlers

Toddlers love dancing and moving to the music. The key to their successful experience with music lies in repetition, which encourages language development and memorization. Consider the ABCs, where many children believe the sequence “l-m-n-o-p” is a word, “elemenopee”. As they mature, they will understand that it’s not a single word but a sequence of sounds, each sound being a separate entity.
It’s worth noting that music stimulates children’s natural desire to move, thereby developing their fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Plus, if the rhythm is entertaining, you may notice your toddler jumping up and down, which helps with muscle development, strength, and balance. Just as taste, textures, and colours aid sensory development, so does music. Exposing your child to various musical styles can help create more pathways between the neuron cells in their brain. This effect is amplified when you link music to different activities, such as dancing.

Preschool Children and Music 

Preschoolers enjoy singing for the sheer joy of it. They aren’t self-conscious about their ability, and most are eager to let their voices roar. They like songs that repeat words and melodies, use rhythms with a definite beat, and give them instruction. Preschool children enjoy nursery rhymes and songs about familiar things like toys, animals, play activities, and people. Using various rhythmic instruments, sing songs, and marching to music, their coordination of movement, sense of rhythm, memory, and the ability to listen improve. By learning rhythmic songs, using rhythmic instruments, and playing musical games, children develop an understanding of the circuits that form sounds and rhythm. They recognize vowels more easily and divide words into syllables, which will come in handy when they learn to read.

A fascinating fact to take into account is that music highly encourages a child’s social skills. Children who play music develop a stronger sense of social cohesion and a better understanding of themselves and their surroundings. Additionally, the emotional component of musical activity encourages the development of empathy (compassion for others), a vital social skill.