Music

Music is an important part of our reality. The benefits of listening to music and participating in making music are well known today.  Most people are aware of how they feel when listening to their favorite type of music, playing an instrument of their choice, or playing together in a band or orchestra where they are creating music together. Participation in making music and being immersed in music is usually a positive and emotionally uplifting experience. For young children this is also true, as they tend to love dancing and moving their little bodies to the music and sounds played. They most often feel good and happy listening to music they like, and love being involved with playing instruments. 

 

EEG (Electroencephalogram) studies done with young children proves that music is of positive development in a young child’s brain. The EEG Technology is a brain imaging technique that is used to “look” inside a person’s active brain. These studies show what happens when young children play music and sing, by showing what part of the brain lights up and becomes active. These studies show that listening to positive, soothing and harmonious music, like classical music for example, has a positive effect on a child’s brain development.  A 2016 study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute found that musical experiences in childhood can actually accelerate brain development, particularly in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills. According to the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM Foundation), learning to play an instrument can improve mathematical learning and even increase SAT scores.

But academic achievement isn’t the only benefit of music education and exposure. Music ignites all areas of child development and skills for school readiness, including intellectual, social-emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and the mind work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice creative self-expression. For children and adults as well, music helps strengthen memory skills. In addition to the developmental benefits, simply put: music bring us joy. Just think about listening to a good song in the car with the window down on a beautiful day. That's called joy. Children are naturally in a joy states, when they play and laugh and are present in the moment. Music adds and amplifies this natural state.

 

Music plays an important role in the socialization of children and adolescents. Popular music is present almost everywhere, and it is easily available through the radio, various recordings, the Internet, and new technologies, allowing adolescents to hear it in diverse settings and situations, alone or shared with friends. Parents often are unaware of the lyrics to which their children are listening to because of the increasing use of downloaded music and headphones. Research on popular music has explored its effects on schoolwork, social interactions, mood and affect, and particularly behavior. The effect that popular music has on children's and adolescents' behavior and emotions is of paramount concern. Lyrics have become more explicit in their references to drugs, sex, and violence over the years, particularly in certain genres. A teenager's preference for certain types of music could be correlated or associated with certain behaviors. As with popular music, the perception and the effect of music-video messages are important, because research has reported that exposure to violence, sexual messages, sexual stereotypes, and use of substances of abuse in music videos might produce significant changes in behaviors and attitudes of young viewers. (pediatrics.aappublications.org

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