Including music in your child’s day has long-term physical and mental health benefits. More than that, for just a minute, imagine that you can zap to the future and increase the marks in your child’s report card in reading, math, and other subjects. How? This doesn’t need a magic wand. It’s easy and fun to do with music!
Music is a system of notes and spaces. Notes go up and down in regular steps creating patterns and rhythms. Language and math have some of those same features. Music activities–singing, dancing, listening–help to prewire the pathways and connections in the brain that are needed for learning language and math. Music can also influence emotions and relaxation.
What are some ways to include music?
- Parents are sometimes concerned that their voices are not good enough to sing to their kids. Kids prefer the voices of their parents, so sing the songs that you remember from your childhood. There are great action songs and favorites, like Wheels on the Bus, Itsy Bitsy Spider, 10 in the Bed, The Bear Went Over the Mountain, Head and Shoulders, Hokey Pokey and others.You can make up your own songs to familiar tunes, changing the words as needed. It’s not easy to enjoy ones from movies that you have heard from the time kids wake up until they go to bed, but just think of report cards.
- Listen to all kinds of music. Dance and sing along. There are some tremendous children’s entertainers and bands and include music that you enjoy.
- Rhythm is part of our lives from our first heart beat. It’s no wonder kids love to drum and tap. Pots and pans work well, with wooden spoons or big plastic ones. Check the recycling for fun items to make shakers too.
New research from Germany also shows that exposure to music in the early years can enlarge parts of the brain. What are some other suggestions for tuning in to the benefits of music for kids?
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