Children and Music
Children need to move to learn. Physical development is the foundation for learning. Without balance and co-ordination, we could not sit nor stand, have free use of our hands to carry out fine motor tasks, or control the eye movements needed for reading, writing, copying and math.
To learn how to control and coordinate their body, our kids need:
Gross motor activities which means movement of the entire body or larger parts of the body. Examples include creeping, crawling, rolling, running, jumping, and dancing.
Fine motor activities involve movement of smaller parts of the body, like hands and feet. Examples include grasping reaching, holding, banging, spinning, clapping, and hand-eye coordination.
Body Part identification activities because good coordinated movement starts with knowing for kids where their body parts are and what these different parts are able to do.
YOUR CHILD'S DEVELOPMENT
BENEFITS OF MUSIC FOR CHILDREN
Why does movement stimulates a child's brain development?
Have you ever wondered why you are more tired when you sit down all day compared to when you get outside and run around and feel completely awake and strong again? The reason is that your bodies thrives on movement and excitation. Movement stimulation is important for all of us but its particularly crucial for the developing brain of a child. It gives these three ingredients to your child's brain, which are also known as "brain food" and can't help but optimize the brain's performance!
Children of all ages express themselves through music. Playing music for infants proves that, even at an early age, children sway, bounce, or move their hands in response to music they hear. Many preschoolers make up songs and, with no self-consciousness, sing to themselves as they play. Children in elementary school learn to sing together as a group and possibly learn to play a musical instrument. Older children dance to the music of their favorite bands and use music to form friendships and share feelings.
Why Music and Movement is Vital for Children
Peanut butter and jelly, socks and shoes, bats and balls, hide and seek, music and children — are all elements of childhood. Children are naturally interested in music, and music is naturally good for children. Why is music so attractive to children, and why is music so well suited to children?
Music is a language, and children are oriented toward learning language.
Music evokes movement, and children delight in and require movement for their development and growth.
Music engages the brain while stimulating neural pathways associated with such higher forms of intelligence as abstract thinking, empathy, and mathematics.
Music's melodic and rhythmic patterns provide exercise for the brain and help develop memory. Who among us learned the ABC's without the ABC song?
Music is an aural art and young children are aural learners. Since ears are fully mature before birth, infants begin learning from the sounds of their environment before birth.
Music is perfectly designed for training children's listening skills. Good listening skills and school achievement go hand in hand.
Developmentally appropriate music activities involve the whole child-the child's desire for language, the body's urge to move, the brain's attention to patterns, the ear's lead in initiating communication, the voice's response to sounds, as well as the eye-hand coordination associated with playing musical instruments.
Music is a creative experience which involves expression of feelings. Children often do not have the words to express themselves and need positive ways to release their emotions.
Music transmits culture and is an avenue by which beloved songs, rhymes, and dances can be passed down from one generation to another.
Music is a social activity which involves family and community participation. Children love to sing and dance at home, school, and at church.
Infants and Music
Infants recognize the melody of a song long before they understand the words. They often try to mimic sounds and start moving to the music as soon as they are physically able. Quiet, background music can be soothing for infants, especially at sleep time. Loud background music may overstimulate an infant by raising the noise level of the room. Sing simple, short songs to infants in a high, soft voice. Try making up one or two lines about bathing, dressing, or eating to sing to them while you do these activities.
Toddlers and Music
Toddlers love to dance and move to music. The key to toddler music is the repetition of songs, which encourages the use of words and memorization. Silly songs make them laugh. Try singing a familiar song and inserting a silly word in the place of the correct word, like “Mary had a little spider” instead of lamb. Let them reproduce rhythms by clapping or tapping objects.
Preschoolers and Music
Preschoolers enjoy singing just to be singing. 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 ask them to do things. Preschool children enjoy nursery rhymes and songs about familiar things like toys, animals, play activities, and people. They also like finger plays and nonsense rhymes with or without musical accompaniment.