Why Music and Movement are Vital for Children
Peanut butter and jelly, socks and shoes, bats and balls, hide and seek, music and children—are all elements of childhood. Children are naturally interested in music, and music is naturally good for children. Why is music so attractive to children, and why is music so well suited to children?
- Music is a language, and children are oriented toward learning language.
- Music evokes movement, and children delight in and require movement for their development and growth.
- Music engages the brain while stimulating neural pathways associated with such higher forms of intelligence as abstract thinking, empathy, and mathematics.
- Music's melodic and rhythmic patterns provide exercise for the brain and help develop memory. Who among us learned the ABC's without the ABC song?
- Music is an aural art and young children are aural learners. Since ears are fully mature before birth, infants begin learning from the sounds of their environment before birth.
- Music is perfectly designed for training children's listening skills. Good listening skills and school achievement go hand in hand.
- Developmentally appropriate music activities involve the whole child: the child's desire for language, the body's urge to move, the brain's attention to patterns, the ear's lead in initiating communication, the voice's response to sounds, as well as the eye-hand coordination associated with playing musical instruments.
- Music is a creative experience which involves expression of feelings. Children often do not have the words to express themselves and need positive ways to release their emotions.
- Music transmits culture and is an avenue by which beloved songs, rhymes, and dances can be passed down from one generation to another.
- Music is a social activity which involves family and community participation. Children love to sing and dance at home, school, and at church.
As published in Early Childhood Connections.
Today, we know more about how children learn and grow than ever before. Today, we have data to confirm our hunch that "Music is vital to life." Read what experts in their fields think about the benefits of music and movement:
"Music brings people together. Through music, children take an inner experience and move it into a shared creative experience. Group music-making releases energy which can be channeled in creative, productive directions. Children learn about themselves and others by playing music together and by listening to each other—tapping into hidden courage that can be played out by singing together or discovering the inner resources to listen quietly to another child's playing."
Board Certified Music Therapist
"Resiliency—to bounce back after a disturbing event—is not something we are born with; it must be learned, and sometimes that takes many years. There is no vehicle more joyful and playful for providing such training than early childhood music and movement."
Dee Joy Coulter, Ed.D.
"A rich voice opens the ear and gives energy to the nervous system. Not only does it help children process and memorize the message, but it also increases their desire to listen more, learn more, and know more. A good voice fills the cognitive and emotional brain."
Founder and Director
The Listening Centre
"Speech and music have a number of shared processing systems. Musical experiences which enhance processing can therefore impact on the perception of language which in turn impacts on learning to read."
Institute of Education
University of London
Noted author and neuroscience educator Jane Healy speaks about children whose parents have chosen more "academic" pursuits for their children:
"Studies show that 4-, 5-, and 6-year-olds in heavily "academic" classes tend to become less creative and more anxious—without gaining significant advantages over their peers."
Jane M. Healy
Your Child's Growing Mind
And, if everything else were not convincing enough…
A 2007 poll found that 88% of all post-graduate students in college and 83% of all people earning $150,000 or more had extensive music training.
Poll, November 14, 2007
For further information about how you can extend the benefits of music and movement to children in your area, contact us.