Music is a fantastic tool for early childhood development. Around the world, people are familiar with the benefits of music. From mental health benefits to physical development, literacy levels to building personal relationships, there is so much music can do to aid your child’s development. At Stepping Stones Day Nursery we are well versed in tailoring activities to engage all the senses; we’re going to look at some of the ways music can help your child develop.
Whether dancing or playing an instrument, music is a great way to develop physical skills. Motor skills are an important part of early years development and a vital foundation for physical development: these skills relate to a child’s ability to move different muscles and bones in the hands and complete different tasks. These skills include everything from fine motor skills to more general motor function.
These skills can often be overlooked as we use actions like gripping everyday objects and manipulating them. Washing hands, brushing teeth, dressing, tying your shoelaces, writing, drawing, climbing, using zips, the list is endless. Children who struggle with motor skill development can suffer in the long run with a lack of confidence in their abilities, a dislike for difficult or complicated tasks, and emotional challenges as a result of these troubles.
Music, especially if you incorporate clapping, tapping, dancing, and other physical activities build coordination and strengthen connections in the brain. Singing songs, dancing games, clapping along to music, and experimenting with instruments like xylophones, drums, and the recorder are all great ways to engage motor skills with music and develop a life-long love of music.
Social skills are another integral part of any child’s development. Dancing and singing along to songs are great ways for you to bond with your little one. Children who play instruments together also benefit from teamwork skill development and achieving goals leading to better social cohesion.
Several studies have proven music to a useful social skill development tool. Dr Alexandra Lamont, a lecturer in the Psychology of Music at the University of Keele reaffirm these ideas stating; “Children who take part in music develop higher levels of social cohesion and understanding of themselves and others.”
Literacy and Mental Development
Music is just as good for mental development as studies show that ‘participation in a music program had a positive effect on promoting a positive approach to learning.’ This is beneficial for literacy and numeracy. A study into literacy by Escalda et al. showed that children with musical experience performed significantly better than children with no musical experience in processing auditory and phonological awareness.
Maths also has a clear connection to music. Learning about timing, beats, and other musical notation teaches children about ratios and fractions while they learn to play an instrument and enjoy music according to a study from the University of California.
These studies show that mental development is improved with exposure to music. This makes music, not only a fun hobby and form of expression but one of the most enjoyable ways to learn through doing.
Expression and self-confidence
Music also builds intimacy. Young children build some of the most important relationships in their lives as infants and toddlers. If they are lucky enough to have caring and responsive caregivers, they develop a sense of security, the feeling that they will be followed, cared for, and protected, even as they explore new activities, take risks, make mistakes, and recover. Music can support these intimate exchanges. For example, when caregivers sing lullabies, they use pitch, rhythm, and lyrics to soothe, teach language, communicate hope and affection, and provide security as a child goes from wakefulness to sleep, or light to dark.
Stepping Stones Day Nursery is a wonderful Nottingham-based day nursery committed to helping your little one develop in a safe and happy environment. We believe it takes a village to raise a child and we provide every child with support, education, enrichment and entertainment. To book a visit or get a free trial session contact us today.