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Every time her favourite song is played on the car radio, my 2yr old Shanaya claps her hands and hums to the beat from the back of the car. She’s as happy as she can be, and with her bunny-like smile, she’s grinning ear to ear. I smile back at her from the rear view mirror. As soon as I start singing along, she giggles and tries to sing louder. The song ends and the two of us are still singing and laughing. All of us parents have had similar experiences, just one of many signs indicating how much our baby loves music.
Children have a natural love for music. They love a good tune with an energetic beat. It’s amazing what music can do for a kid. As a powerful stimulant, music can alter your child’s mood instantly and create new bonds and memories. We all have our personal stories of using music to calm a colicky baby or playing a favourite lullaby to put a little one to sleep. Music can also make time fly on a long car ride. And, let’s not forget the role that music plays at parties!
Music is very much deep-rooted in our everyday culture. Without it, our lives wouldn’t be the same. Take a moment and just imagine what your child’s life would be like without ever having heard “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” or “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or the “ABC song.” Or, how would they like to watch Sesame Street without any music? It’s unthinkable. Music is an inherent part of our nature and who we are in so many ways. Our experiences with music start in early childhood and unquestionably last a lifetime.
Increasingly enough, more attention is being drawn to the role of music in society and how it influences our children. In recent years, the marketplace has been flooded with innovative toys, videos, and a wide range of baby equipment that play popular nursery rhyme or classical music. Why? Sure, music is enjoyable and fun, but extensive research has shown lately that exposing children to music stimulates their overall intelligence and emotional development. Having children listen to different types of music also nurtures their self-esteem while encouraging creativity, self-confidence and curiosity.
Music and Intelligence
Can listening to music actually make smarter adults of the future? Recent data from the University of Texas indicated that those students who received an arts education that included music received higher SAT scores. Many studies have shown that music can benefit cognitive abilities, particularly spatial abilities, higher reasoning and motor skills, and higher achievements in language and math. And, there’s been a lot of media coverage in recent years about the Mozart Effect: the effect that passive listening to the music of certain classical composers has on a child’s intelligence.
There are certainly other measures of smartness in addition to a person’s brain intelligence. For example, music has also shown to increase overall intelligence by shaping the types of attitudes, interests and discipline within children. Many types of music can be inspiring and incredibly motivational, thereby helping children focus and improve their listening skills. Music can give children the self-confidence and self-esteem they need to succeed in many academic areas or in defining personality traits as they grow older.
Many researchers believe that the earlier a child is exposed to music, the more the brain responds to different music tones. We know that children are easily able to imitate musical phrases and songs. As toddlers, they love to bang on pots and pans, searching for that certain beat that they play over and over again – it’s their way of expressing their feelings and emotions. As they get older, they sing, improvise, move and dance and are often introduced to instruments and formal music instruction. Encouraged by my two-and-a-half year old daughter’s interest in musical instruments, I thought of extending this wonderful gift of music to other kids as well, and after rigorous research I crafted a music workshop for Delhi kids, founded MOZARTSY™ and developed innovative workshops aimed specifically at exploring music concepts and musical instruments with children at an early stage. Something kids of Delhi have not had access to until now.
Music is the best gift a parent can give to their child!!
Have a Melodious Day Ahead!!