Music is a large part of many people’s lives. It can be found in the grocery store, on TV commercials, and even at work. But how does it benefit our children? Music has been scientifically proven to help with learning, reading comprehension, math skills, and more. We will discuss four benefits of music for child development.
1) Music Increases Brain Activity
When a child hears music, their brain fires up. Their heart rate and breathing speed up too! This increased blood flow helps the brain with math, geometry, memory skills, and more. The benefits can be seen from birth to old age. Studies have shown that adults who listened to classical music in their twenties had a better memory recall than those who didn’t.
2) Music Strengthens Communication Skills
The main way that children are taught to communicate is through language. When a baby hears its parents speak, the brain begins establishing pathways for future communication. The more words and phrases they hear, the stronger these connections become. This also includes singing! Singing has been shown to help infants learn tonnes better than speaking. Babies as young as six months old have been shown to move their mouths and imitate sounds when they hear a song being sung.
3) Music Strengthens Emotional Intelligence
As a child begins to learn how different parts of the brain work, they become more self-aware. They start understanding their own feelings and those of others as well. This is why some children may prefer listening to classical music over other genres. Classical music’s complex harmonies help develop these skills even further.
Instrumental music can help a child express themselves better. They may use the sounds to relax, cheer up or calm down their own emotions. This is also why it’s helpful for children who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other sensory processing disorders. Playing an instrument can help them regulate these senses, which helps with focus and mood.
4) Music Can Improve Concentration
When a child is listening to music, they can often concentrate better on what they’re doing. Whether it’s homework or an activity of their choosing, the brain uses more resources when focusing than any other task. This can be seen in children who have ADHD as well. They may find it easier concentrating when music is playing.
In addition to the benefits of improved concentration, playing an instrument or singing also improves memory recall. This can be especially useful for children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities as it helps them remember what they read. It’s even been suggested that listening to classical music while reading boosts comprehension skills.