8 Benefits of music for young kids
- Playing music has proven to raise kids’ IQs.
Multiple studies, including one conducted at the University of Western Ontario and one at the University of Toronto Mississauga, have shown that children subjects who took 9-12 months of weekly piano lessons tested on average three points higher than control groups on IQ tests.
- Music inspires creative, out-of-the-box thinking.
According to the Royal Conservatory of Music, there is stronger communication between right and left hemispheres of the brain in individuals with musical training. This connection is believed to foster creativity.In addition, Daniel J. Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain On Music, argues that music is the most effective way to enter into “mind-wandering mode.” Have you ever painstakingly tried to solve a problem and found that its solution comes to you when you least expect it? That’s because when you stop directing all your energy towards finding the solution, you’ve entered the “mind-wandering mode.” This default mode of the brain, in which the mind retreats into a series of seemingly disconnected thoughts, is where much of humans’ creativity occurs.
- Music can help boost kids’ memories.
Chris Brewer, author of Soundtracks for Learning, argues that music should be used as a teaching tool in classrooms, believing that sound has the power to hold kids’ attention and evoke associative visual images. He argues that music can help kids retain information more easily and effectively. Try this at home or in the classroom: Next time your child or student is left with the task of memorizing factual info, sing the material to the tune of his/her favorite song or a completely new melody! Click here to see a famous example.
- Music builds confidence.
In addition to providing kids with an outlet for self-expression, playing music, specifically performing in front of others, can foster a strong sense of self in children and can build self-esteem. Studies have shown that participation in musical activities helped improve self-image and self-awareness. This is what parents want to hear! Give me more. Think about this exercise as you showing the power of music and play to parents…what can music do for their kids in the simplest way for them to understand and with the most impact. Music builds confidence is great!!
- Playing music can enhance spatial reasoning.
Studies have indicated a causal link between playing music and spatial intelligence, which encompasses skills such as navigation, visualization, and facial recognition. Such skills come in handy when approaching math problems. According to ParentMap, notes and rhythms can foster “strong neural pathways through musical patterns that later add up to higher math skills.”
- Playing music can improve kids’ fine motor skills.
A study by psychologist Ellen Winner and neurologist Gottfried Schlaug found changes in brain images of kids who experienced 15 months of music training and practice. Researchers found improved fine motor tasks and changes in the neural networks of kids who underwent musical training.
- Music can strengthen social skills.
Psychologist Claudia M. Gold argues that in kids, like in autistic patients, overwhelming amounts of sensory input cause social anxiety. Music, she argues, can help organize a child’s experience and enable the child to process it more easily. In addition, social incompetence is often caused by poor verbal communication skills, a skillset that musical experience can strengthen. In fact, a 2002 study found that students who participated in music-related activities talked more with parents and teachers than those who did not do so.
- Music can improve literacy and language development.
Education professor Susan Hallam argues that the way humans process musical sound is the way we process speech. Playing music, especially between the ages of 2 and 9 years old, can improve listening skills and sharpen the way kids process language.
For more on this topic, see:
- TEDx: What if every child had access to music education from birth?
- TEDxYouth: Music and the young brain