Why Is Music So Important for Children’s Cognitive and Emotional Growth?
Music is a natural part of our everyday lives and plays an important role in our culture. Parents instinctively sing lullabies to calm babies and use music to express positive feelings in order to make them feel loved and amused.
Music can also be harnessed to aid young children’s brain development too – and we not just talking about listening to music, but also learning to play an instrument is a very powerful way for children to develop new skills. So why is music so important for children’s cognitive and emotional growth?
According to several studies, learning to play an instrument can improve children’s mathematical abilities and help kids to learn languages faster. In fact, there’s not many differences between learning a language and learning the fundamentals of music. Babies learn to tune into the voices of their parents long before they’re able to understand actual words.
At around three to six months of age, babies start experimenting with their voices to produce a wide variety of sounds; it’s the magic time when they begin babbling. At this stage of learning, consonant sounds emerge first and babies experiment repetition and rhythm… Notice any similarities with music?
But there’s more; studies have proven that babies who have been exposed to music can better grasp pattern recognition and predict rhythmic patterns — skills that are necessary in order to pick up a new language.
To better understand the power of music in relation to your child’s growth, just think that introducing them to musical concepts, whether letting them pound on a drum or shake a tambourine, helps develop the same areas of the brain that are needed to master language!
So how can you improve your baby’s development through music? Providing them with musical toys can be a good way of introducing them to the world of music, but with so many musical toys around, which ones are the best?
Well, the benefits of each musical toy are different, but don’t forget to consider your baby’s emergent preferences: Do you have the next Jimi Hendrix or John Bonham at home?
Drums and tambourines are the most popular percussion toys and children find in these instruments a lot of fun.
If your toddler likes playing with percussion toys you should know that drumming stimulates the right and left sides of the brain simultaneously. Children have to use different parts of their brains to listen to the music around them and to understand and create a rhythms their own.
Moreover, playing drums develops analytical processes and creativity, and helps children develop their motor skills and all-round coordination.
Take this Learn with Lights Drum? It helps kids explore music and practice their skills with the help of flashing lights. It’s such a fun way to learn rhythm!
Keyboards and electronic music
Learning piano and keyboards is not only a very good way to express oneself, but it can also give your brain a work-out! In fact, playing a keyboard instrument enhances coordination as it teaches children to use separate hand movements at the same time. Moreover, it improves reading and language skills!
Learning the piano can be a fun activity for children, and that’s why Hape has created a huge musical toy collection. Classic pianos in red, pink or black and the Deluxe White Grand Piano (a 30 key electronic piano) are the perfect toys to encourage your children to explore the wonder of music and to create great symphonies of their own!
If you’re looking for a modern instrument and you think that your toddlers may like electronic music, you can provide them with an instrument that’s a perfect fit for mini DJs-to-be!
The DJ mix & Spin Studio is a portable DJ studio that gives toddlers the opportunity to spin their first tunes and, thanks to its different buttons and controls, it helps them learn about cause and effect in relation to music.
Children love to feel like rockstars strumming a guitar, and If you need a reminder about music’s profound role in relation to the growth of children, take a look at this previous Hape Blog post . In light of this, imagine how educational a music toy can be for your child! Moreover, playing guitars and other stringed instruments improves memory capacity and concentration. The Flower Power Guitar, for example, is the perfect size for younger children who want to learn an instrument, and its eye-catching 1960s look is a winner.
We’ve talked about some fun music toys and learned a little about how they can be useful in your baby’s development and growth, and now let’s look at some tips on choosing the right musical toy your little musician.
Remember to choose age appropriate music toys and pay attention to the materials that the toys are made of in order to ensure your toddler’s safety. Also try to select toys that are made with sustainable and environmentally friendly materials.
What’s more, always select toys that encourage your child to use different skills in similar ways that the aforementioned toys in this article do.
So, the concert is about to start – and healthy growth for your beloved little one is beginning too! Are you ready?
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Monster Math Scale
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Mini Band Set
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