Sound is a basic learning tool for children. The earlier they recognize specific sounds, the better understanding they get from the world around them, the same goes with music. If you recall, children respond to lullabies by falling asleep, dancing, bop their heads, clap their hands, or tap their feet while listening to lively music. They even learn a couple things like the alphabet by singing their ABCs. Learning music by singing, playing instruments, dancing, and even listening to music plays an important role in child development.
In fact, there are a number of proven and tested developmental benefits of learning music from an early age.
Top 10 Benefits of Learning Music from an Early Age
Music Develops the Brain
It has been scientifically proven, the brains of musically-inclined individuals work differently from non-musical ones. Music stimulates the left side of the brain, which is responsible for the verbal and analytical aspect of thinking, therefore allowing better comprehension in reading, speaking, math, and emotional development. Studies also show that children exposed to music at an early age are more likely to become academic achievers who get higher test scores than those who weren’tinto music, since their brains have been stimulated by music in their formative years.
It Helps Build Confidence
Learning how to sing, dance, or play an instrument allows a child to be more confident. It gives a child the impression they’re able to do something they're proud of. If they put their heartinto it and exert effort in learning something, they develop and further improve that specific skill, therefore being confident in their abilities. The earlier a child feels confident about themselves, the more opportunities they would be interested in, and would gladly participate in more things to explore.
It Enhances Their Social and Emotional Skills
In music, children learn to perform together with their colleagues, which allows them to enhance their social and emotional skills. To perform harmoniously, a child needs to learn working with other children. They need to have a grasp on the social and emotional aspect of interacting with each and every one of them by relating to them, and having empathy for others. This instills the thinking that things could be accomplished by understanding an “I” could be better with a “we.” As the child grows older, they would apply this thinking, and become a good teamplayer.
It Helps Them Focus
Children are naturally distracted by things in their surroundings, and music helps to develop focus at an early age. While striving to be better at what they’re trying to do, like playing an instrument, children learn to focus more on the task at hand, and develop the habit of giving their full attention to what they’re doing. Learning music also requires significant levels of concentration, training children to focus their attention for sustained periods. This focus is then translated to the other things they’re inclined to do with the understanding, focus brings more coherence for things to make more sense and significance.
Music Develops Memory
From memorizing lyrics and recognizing notes, music trains a child’s mind to retain as much information to perform effectively. Like practicing math, music exercises the brain to develop in learning more. With such memory, studies show that musicians or individuals are greatly exposed to music. They excelled better growing up academically than those who weren’t. Keen memory is seen most commonly with children exposed to music at an early age.
It Enhances Creativity and Self-Expression
Musicians are viewed in our society as creative people. Exposing a child to music at an early age gives them freedom to express themselves through their craft, and provides them an outlet for their emotions. Having this edge at an early age further enhances their creativity, which in turn manifests in other aspects of their life, such as in academics, work, and relationships. They also develop exemplary attention to details in their work, because their creativity has no bounds. They have mastered how to express themselves, and how to reflect it in their outputs.
It Teaches Them Patience
Patience is a limited resource for children at an early age. It’s something they develop, depending on the environment they’re exposed to. Learning music requires patience. This is something they critically develop along the way, because they’re aware that learning music and other things requires such time and patience to be good at it. Hence they don’t easily give up and wait for prolonged periods of time
It Helps Develops Motor Skills
Similar to sports, music helps children develop their motor skills, since it involves not just the voice, fingers, or feet. It also makes use of the eyes, ears, large and small muscles, all working together at the same time. Aside from making the mind and body work together, simultaneous movements, balance, and coordination are harmoniously functioning, which children eventually master, and apply to other aspects of their lives.
It Introduces Children to Other Cultures
By learning about the variety of musical instruments and genres, children are slowly being introduced to other cultures. Children have a sense of curiosity, as to where the instruments and music genre comes from. Theyoften find it interesting to learn more about those cultures, since they have an idea about them. It’s important to expose children to other cultures and familiarize them at an early age, to foster open-mindedness about traditions and practices beyond the ones they know.
Music Gives a Sense of Achievement
Learning music at an early age also gives children a sense of achievement. Learning how to play an instrument, performing in front of a crowd, and tryingdifferent melodies, one after the other, makes them feelthey’re doing great things. They reach this feeling of achievement in each milestone. As they grow, children would seek this sense of achievement, not only in music or academics, knowing this feeling gives value to their work, and makes them feel good about themselves
Aside from all these benefits of learning music from an early age, music also brings joy to children’s lives. From listening to the tunes they hear, singing cheerful rhymes with their parents, and learning to play various instruments, all these create timeless memories they can bring with them as they grow older. All the hard work, discipline, and practical applications of what they’ve learned, while being exposed to music at an early age are considered building blocks of a resilient individual who’s mature, and proactive enough to set and reach their goals.