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This happens to my daughter All. The. Time! She loves music and immediately begins to sway and move her arms and legs when she hears a song come on. She has even started dancing when someone sings to her!
I love to dance myself, so I like to think she got that love of music and dancing from me! 😉
Music has an amazing ability to link people across many social barriers such as cultures or languages.
It helps create a sense of belonging. Though two people may not speak the same language, they can both feel the rhythm and beat of the same song.
It seems at times that the value and importance of music for children is getting left in the dust of other extracurricular activities or interests.
We can’t let that happen! Music can provide so many valuable things.
I grew up in a home where music was highly valued.
My mom was (is) a piano teacher and as a result my six siblings and I can all play the piano. Naturally we are all on different skill levels.
Growing up we each tried out other instruments, in addition to the piano. I tried the clarinet for a year then played the flute for six years.
I love playing and listening to music!
My dad jokes that he is good at playing music….he can play the radio hahaha. (Though truth be told he can also play the piano).
I started attending a band class in elementary school and continued to be part of that throughout my high school years. In high school I was also a member of a choir.
I had the opportunity to learn about music from multiple angles while interacting with a variety of people.
Social Connections and Working Together
Being part of music groups helped me overcome fears of acceptance, learning something new, and working with others to accomplish hard things.
I was connected to friends with similar interests and we instantly had something we could talk about. There are people I interacted with in these groups that I still keep in contact with today.
Music brings people together.
Children learn to respect other people’s choices in how they express themselves.
In a band or orchestra setting, they learn to blend the correct notes at the right time to make a beautiful sound all together.
Choirs function in a very similar way. Children learn to sing particular notes at a specific pitch to blend in with the other voices.
It can be a great way to learn about teamwork and working together to achieve something greater than yourself.
Self Confidence and Becoming a Leader
Giving children opportunities to teach YOU about the new skills they are learning can be a great way to boost their confidence.
Ask them to teach you the song or dance they have been practicing or play a song on an instrument for you.
It is a lot more fun to teach someone about something you feel comfortable with and have knowledgeable about.
Allow them time to teach their siblings or peers and watch the skills develop before your eyes!
Learning how to play an instrument or to sing takes time.
Whether or not someone has a ‘natural ability’, they will still need to learn and practice to develop and improve their musical abilities.
It can be a great tool for children to learn self-discipline as they set aside time each day to learn and practice a musical instrument or train their voice.
They will (hopefully!) begin to see over time that the amount of effort and time they put into their musical abilities will directly correlate with how proficient they become.
The hope is that this ability to self-discipline will then translate into other parts of their lives like school work and chores at home.
Music provides an excellent way for children to express themselves.
They can show excitement, sadness, anger, or joy to name a few.
Young babies connect with music and can demonstrate their reactions through movement and sounds.
As children grow, they will often be found singing to themselves while they play.
Dancers express themselves through coordinated (or not so coordinated!) movements set to music.
Feeling the beat and hearing the words to a song can help a child learn empathy for how someone else may feel.
Learning and Memory
Music is a popular way to teach new concepts.
Why? Because it works!
Learning something new to the tune of a song can help us make connections between the words and the rhythm, and have a great influence on our ability to recall specific information.
Children learn by repetition and songs can lend a helpful hand! There are many songs with repeated lines that help teach and reinforce concepts.
It also never hurts to make it fun and funny. Children won’t soon forget a silly song that had them laughing and laughing.
As adults we feel self -conscious about being silly, but kids aren’t the least bit judgmental and absolutely eat it up! So “let your hair down” a little and get those kiddos giggling!
There have been many people who start to forget things as they get older, including people they know. But they can frequently remember songs from their youth. Amazing!
Learning music activates different parts of the brain. It helps to connect the mind to the body. This can be very beneficial to children as they develop motor skills and continue to learn about everything around them.
Think of a song that gets stuck in your head, usually repeating a particular part over and over again.
You can’t deny you know the words, right? At least to that part!
Children hearing and singing words repeated in a song can help them learn new words as they hear them in context with other familiar words.
Children are especially impressionable.
If we can connect them with the right type of music from a young age they can receive the additional benefit of language acquisition through music.
My sister works in a profession that allows her to use her musical abilities to help others be more comfortable as they prepare to leave this life.
She has related countless stories to me of incredible experiences she has had in sharing music with these people. It has been a calming influence both to those passing and the family members surrounding them.
As a piano teacher, my mom has often invited her piano students to play for people living in care centers. The children get a chance to share their talents while bringing joy and smiles to many faces.
You can provide your children with opportunities to serve others by sharing their musical talents with them.
This can take on a variety of forms including sending a recording or video to a family member or friend that lives farther away that could also find joy in hearing their music.
Comfort and Inspire
It can motivate and empower people who want to get excited about something.
Music can reach us through words being sung or solely through the feel of the rhythm.
Have you ever heard a song come on the radio that just made you want to roll the windows down and rock out? That’s what I’m talking about!
Music has an endless range of influence.
Even before a baby is born, the influence of music can help them in the womb.
After they are born, parents intuitively use music to calm and comfort them.
We use music to lull children to sleep, as a method of entertainment, and a means of teaching concepts.
Music is within everyone’s reach.
It can be heard and felt.
Children and adults with special needs can find a deep connection to music. Some may not be able to speak or sing, but they can tap out a beat, dance to a rhythm and feel the vibrations from an instrument.
Babies love to make music banging a spoon on a pan or shaking a rattle back and forth.
Children often learn to play a toy musical instrument then may eventually move on to the real version of the instrument.
Play microphones hand a child a figurative stage to perform on as they sing out their favorite songs.
Music plays a crucial role in my life. I hope to continue to share the power of music with my own family and friends and many others I have the pleasure of meeting!
What are benefits you have found from having music be a part of your family’s lives? Please leave any comments or questions below!
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