Who doesn’t love music?! Whether it’s Jazz, Hip hop, Reggae, Mozart or Rap, we have all made connections with music at some point in our lives.
My inspiration for today’s blog comes from some of my childhood idols who sadly passed away recently, namely David Bowie and Prince. Music has been part of my life since for as long as I can remember: my father was an avid Elvis Presley fan and was part of a band in his youth. Spending my teenage years in boarding school I connected with friends from diverse backgrounds through music. At school, I learnt to play the piano and was exposed to reading music. I was also in the school choir and till this very day I love Karaoke! As an adult, music carried me through my pregnancy when I would listen to Baby Mozart and Baby Einstein hoping I would create a baby whose brain was already stimulated. After all those years, I now have a guitarist and a drummer in the house with my two teenage boys. So why does music play an important role in Early Childhood?
Music is a language in itself. Children connect socially, emotionally and academically through songs, movement and listening experiences. Families bond through music simply by listening to music together or by playing musical games.
Research indicates music engages the brain while stimulating neural pathways associated with abstract thinking, empathy and mathematics. It also aids in language development as rhythmic patterns exercise the brain and help develop memory. Have you noticed that when learning a new language songs are a popular method of introducing language? Children can memorize a song without actually learning the language.
Music is a beautiful means of self expression and children who have difficulty expressing their emotions can be helped through a simple exercise of listening to different pieces of music and discussing how it makes them feel. How many of us have used music to calm our children and relax them through a sleepless or anxious phase, or to energize them on that long car journey by listening to “Wheels on the Bus”?
Music allows creativity, so sing, laugh and dance with your children. As Albert Einstein once said, “Creativity is contagious, pass it on.”