Music plays an important role in the development of a child. An unborn baby in the womb also responds positively to music. The experiences in the womb can shape the child’s overall development later.
It is said that listening to soothing music during pregnancy can create a prenatal positive stimulation for the unborn child and relaxes the mother, creating a bond between them.
An unborn child may not understand music but the positive sound vibrations definitely enhance a child’s auditory senses, helps in a better development of the reflexes and stimulates the mind thereby activating the neurons.
Once the child is born he/she is able to relate to music and a gentle lullaby can give him a restful sleep. Babies gradually identify rhythms and can move to the beats of music. They respond to musical toys even when they are a few months old.
There are many benefits of music in a child’s development.
- It improves sensory development: a child gradually learns to identify different types of music and is able to sing along with it.
- Music helps in improving the child’s ability to concentrate.
- It helps develop the child’s motor skills, improves muscle development and the sense of balance.
- Playing a musical instrument enhances the child’s hand and eye coordination.
- Music helps a child to relax.
- Singing or dancing to music along with other children helps the child to learn social interaction.
- Songs are a powerful tool to improve a child’s vocabulary.
- Music helps greatly in improving a child’s creativity and helps him/her be a better communicator in later life.
- Another personality trait that gets greatly boosted while learning/playing music is the personal confidence.
There are several ways in which a parent can use music to improve a child’s development.
- Expose a child to different types of music from an early age. As mentioned earlier, music heard even during pregnancy helps the unborn baby to develop. A baby should be sung to or made to listen to music of different genre.
- A parent can incorporate music into daily activities. A little song sung while the child has a bath or brushes his teeth makes the act enjoyable, even if the song is sung out of tune. Music makes even the most mundane activity fun and it builds a bond between parent and child.
- A child can be made to enact the words of a song to help promote creative thinking and self-expression. He can also be encouraged to create his/her own little songs.
- A child can be given a musical toy instrument to play with. If the child develops an interest in playing an instrument then the child can be introduced to formal classes in playing the instrument he/she likes. Children should never be forced to join a music class if there is no genuine interest in a child to learn music.
- A child could be taught through music as it helps the brain retain information better. Teaching a child the alphabet, numbers, parts of the body or even the days of the week and months of the year through song will making learning enjoyable and aid in retaining the information.
A parent or teacher should definitely use different forms of music and songs to help a child develop into a well-rounded individual and promote personality development of the child while having fun & bring joy to a complex process.