importance of music

Music Is Important For Early Development – Wish for More Music in Kids’ Programs

Music is important for early development. One parent’s wish is for more music in kids’ programs, daycares, preschools, and kindergartens. Bet kids agree.


This month, parents, grandparents, and adults who work with young children are being asked the question, “If you had one wish you could use for children’s early education and development programs, what would it be?” The answers give clues about what matters.

When it comes to priorities of kinds of activities kids need, music often comes lower on the list. Maybe it’s because we take it for granted. When we think about it, major events and celebrations for adults include music. Music is part of the background in stores, theatres, tv shows, and work and fun spaces. Sporting events use music as part of the package for watchers and players and companies use music for branding. Without us thinking about it, music plays a big part in our lives.

music important for early development

It also plays a part in early development. Bright Horizons, in an article on kids and music,  gives these reasons, “Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression. For children and adults, music helps strengthen memory skills.” (Children and Music: Benefits of Music in Child Development)

Singing can happen anywhere and anytime. Besides favorite songs like Eensy, Weensy Spider, The Alphabet Song, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Old Macdonald, and The Wheels on the Bus, make up your own for getting dressed, picking up toys, and making the bed. Combine different words with familiar tunes.

This is the way we make the bed, make the bed, make the bed.
This is the way we make the bed, we pull up the covers.
(Tune: This is the way we go to school.)

music important for early developmentListen to all different kinds of music. When you can, dance to music too. Or, hop, skip, and jump. Music can be both energizing and relaxing. Music is important for early development. Is it something you wish for your child too?


How to Steal a March #6: Include Music Play for Kids

We know the importance of exercise for bodies, and it’s also important for brains; for some brain fitness, include music play for kids.

musical activities for kids

Music stimulates many areas of the brain at the same time. If we could see inside the brain when it’s listening to or creating music, we would see an amazing amount of activity and coordination in a number of parts. It can and does enhance learning.

What are some ways to include music play for kids:

The most inexpensive, easiest to access, and available source of music is our own voice. We can sing to kids throughout the day. Granted, some of us worry about the quality of our singing voice, but kids don’t just listen with their ears. They listen with their hearts. A loved one’s voice echoes in our memories forever. Who do you remember singing to you? Is it a precious memory? Knowing the words for songs isn’t necessary. Make up your own to any familiar tune. “This is the way we put on socks, put on socks, put on socks,” fits to the tune of Mulberry Bush. We can use whatever words go with our actions at the time.hand-play

Play some music. Different cultures have different styles but we don’t have to be limited to any one kind. Each decade or period seems to have it’s own sort of music too. We can include a variety of music from around the clock and the world.

Let kids create music. There are music toys for kids and there are also ordinary everyday items that make sounds. Sometimes, there’s a fine line between music and noise. A squeaky door may be an intriguing sound to a child but it may be a terrible one to us.Christmas music and songs for kids

Watching YouTube videos of young children singing along with a favorite song, dancing to the music, or playing with instruments and toys makes anyone smile. We can see how kids are enjoying themselves. More than that, we are helping them to “steal a march,” that is to say, helping them gain an advantage. How might you include music play in your child’s day?

February Friendship #7: Kids Can Be Friends with Music and Singing

Kids can be friends with music and singing. Is music part of your child’s day? Food is nutrition for bodies, and music is nutrition for brains. This excerpt is from an earlier post on the importance of music for children:

Wow, is there ever a lot of research on music for learning and brain development. A study from Germany’s University of Munster found that music in early childhood can actually enlarge parts of the brain and in the book, “This is Your Brain on Music, Daniel Levitin writes: “Music   enhances or changes certain neural circuits.”

importance of singing to kidsTo include music for your child, you do not have to have a great voice or play a musical instrument. Nearing his 90th birthday, Dick Van Dyke (Bert in Mary Poppins) advises, “Everyone should dance. And everyone should sing. People say, ‘Well, I can’t sing.’ Everybody can sing. That you do it badly is no reason not to sing.” When parents sing, kids listen with their hearts.

You don’t only have to sing known songs. Make up your own to fit a situation using familiar tunes, for example, instead of ants go marching, kids can go marching to the car, hurrah, hurrah. Singing is a great way to get kids’ attention so instead of saying something for the zillionth time, sing it! Songs are a way to remind kids without nagging. Kids know what to do when they hear the tidy-up song, or Raffi’s Brush Your Teeth. There are plenty of children’s bands and performers as well as other types of music for listening and singing along.

importance of music for kidsLife itself is based on rhythm: our heartbeats and breathing. Have you ever rocked a little one to sleep? That’s rhythm too. And have you noticed how kids will drum on anything? Again, rhythm. Tap the rhythm to a song with your child, clap hands, play finger games like Patty-cake. Set out the pots and pans and a wooden spoon. When you can’t stand the noise anymore, switch for something quieter like a thick phone book or mouse pad.

Besides singing, for some more music fun play favorite tunes and dance. Both music and movement encourage connections in the brain needed for math and language. Music has a system and wave patterns. Notes go up and down. So do numbers. There’s rhythm and spaces. Language has that too.

dancing outside in fall leavesMusic encourages careful listening and stretches memory. When we sing together we listen and watch others and pay close attention to social clues. We join together through our voices.

Instead of only being a play-of-the-day, could music be a play-of-the-month? Kids can be friends with music and singing for a lifetime. What are some ways to include music for your child?


October Alphabet: M is for Music Fun for Kids

The next letter in October’s alphabet, is M. M is for music fun for kids. Wow, is there ever a lot of research on music for learning and brain development. A study from Germany’s University of Munster found that music in early childhood can actually enlarge parts of the brain and in the book, “This … Continue reading October Alphabet: M is for Music Fun for Kids

Art Fun: Musical Activities For Kids

Sometimes parents are reluctant to include musical activities for kids because they don’t think they sing well, know enough, or might do something wrong. These issues may hold them back from sharing wonderful experiences with kids. Do you have any of these concerns? Would you be surprised to learn that it’s okay if you don’t … Continue reading Art Fun: Musical Activities For Kids

10 New Year’s Resolutions with Young Kids #8: Music, Singing

This new year’s resolution is so easy it can be almost be done with your eyes closed: include music and singing in your child’s day. Why would that be important? For a start, music and singing can have a positive impact on the brain. There is some new research in Germany showing that exposing a … Continue reading 10 New Year’s Resolutions with Young Kids #8: Music, Singing

Reindeer-Pokey and Other Christmas Songs for Kids

Christmas music is everywhere these days, so while we enjoy it, we can also use it for fun, learning, and kindergarten readiness with young children. Part of the fun this time of year is singing. We’ve all heard Frosty the Snowman, Jingle Bells, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer many times but kids haven’t. The repetition … Continue reading Reindeer-Pokey and Other Christmas Songs for Kids

Children’s Experiences Can Influence Career Choices

When we think of young children’s play, it’s not a big leap to see how that can be part of kindergarten readiness, but it is stretch to seeing how that can influence career choices. From doing this series, I’ll confess that I’ve been surprised. So far, posts have been on a mathematician who played with … Continue reading Children’s Experiences Can Influence Career Choices

Connecting to Music for Kindergarten Readiness

Last week, I was at a seminar for business entrepreneurs, and one of the recommendations was to listen to music! Did you know that’s important for kids too, for fun, learning and kindergarten readiness? When it comes to business, I need all the help I can get because the kindergarten level is where my entrepreneur … Continue reading Connecting to Music for Kindergarten Readiness