Music in the Early Years of Development
Early childhood is an important time for child development and music can be key to that. Even a foetus in the womb can hear music when just 4 months old. The years 0 through to 6 is where a process called ‘audiation’ takes place. Audiation is the foundation of musicianship- it is the process whereby you learn the language of music.
What kids hear during the first six years forms the basis of their musical talent for the rest of their lives. If you play a variety of music to your child during this time then they are more likely to be the next musical prodigy.
A study by Campbell (2000) suggests that prenatal exposure to music can actually stimulate the foetus. Music can improve a baby’s development and even prevent developmental setbacks.
A study by Weikurt highlights the importance of teaching newborn babies the sound of a ‘beat’. This is important because there is such a strong link between rhythm and language. If your kid understands the concept of a beat or rhythm they are better able to learn and become proficient in language. Kids who had at least 3 years worth of musical training also had better motor skills. Reflexes were improved and these kids were better at analyzing visual information.
Using Music as a Study Aid
Playing music can help your child study better.
It doesn’t have to be obtrusive. You can play a track in the background. Why would you do this? Well again, science has proven that music can have some pretty remarkable effects. Music can improve memory, attention and even mental math ability.
An IThinkWell.com.au study shows that half of test subjects who listened to music performed better than the half that didn’t. Music increased their ability to sustain a cognitive load by 150% (in other words their memories improved measurably). Even the other half of the subjects had more clarity of mind later on in the day.
A UK based case study by headsets.direct was shown to increase the productivity of its intelligence workers by up to 50% when supplying them with noise cancelling headsets, and a survey of their customers shows that 75% of customers asked also agree that allowing their team to utlise music while working can be beneficial for productivity and concentration.
A French Study found that listening to classical music helps improve test results. The reasoning behind this? One hypothesis is that classical music puts one in an emotive sedative state. This state then makes you more receptive to information intake. You become a better sponge of information!
Using Music as a Development Aid
Music also has other uses aside from passing exams. You can use music as a parenting tool. It is especially effective at increasing your maternal or paternal bond with your children.
In ‘Music and Mathematics’ by Thomas Fiore it is discussed how music has a very mathematical structure. Music can teach kids about mathematics without them even knowing! A study by Gromko 2005 also illustrates how kids who were exposed to more music developed better non-verbal reasoning and aural skills than their peers.
Ambient music can also increase creativity. Music playing at a moderate noise level distracts your mind. What happens is that the mind has to get more creative to get around this problem. The implication here is that music can help nurture children’s creativity.
As the California State University suggests – there is no conclusive evidence that music can make your child smarter per se. However, we have seen how music can help your child become better speakers, better at math and improve your relationships with your kids.
Well, we have learned that music, as well as entertaining, can be an awesome development tool. Music influences how the brain works and functions. The use of music can be formative for a child’s mind during their early years. The undeniable benefits of music don’t stop in the kindergarten years, though. It also has also been proven as a study aid to help your kids pass their school exams and become the best versions of themselves that they can be!