Parents know that music is important in a child’s development. Research has shown that music aids in a child’s development as early as within utero, and can help a child develop intellectually, socially, and emotionally. Music is all around us, and giving children adequate exposure to listen to and to learn how to play music benefits children of all ages.
Many people are naturally inclined to music. Even from a young age we use music to soothe, show affection, and bring joy into our lives. Engaging children in music- by listening, playing, or dancing- can help with brain development, social development, and motor development. In fact, a study conducted in 2016 by the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of California found that children who are exposed to music at an early age can increase the speed of brain development, especially in the areas of language and reading skills.
In addition to cognitive development, music also helps with school readiness. Learning to play an instrument can help the body and mind work together, helping with hand-eye coordination, large and fine motor skills (depending on the instrument), and self-expression.
Exposing your child to music at an early age is important, and there are several different ways you can do it. Below are some ideas on how to get your child more into music to help with their brain development, their social and emotional development, and their motor skills:
Play Music All the Time
The easiest way to expose your child to more music is to simply play it. You can have music on in the house while you are cooking, while they are playing, or throughout the day during normal day-to-day activities. You can also play music in the car when shuffling from school to after school activities.
Another way to exposure your child to different types of music and songs is to attend a musical theater. Attending theater not only allows your child to hear music but they are also able to see how music can tell a story and invoke emotions. Musical theater is not only good for brain development but it is also good for emotional development. It also allows a child to see how instruments can work together to create a beautiful piece of music, and how different instruments are used to evoke certain emotions.
Go to a Concert
Concerts are different from musical theater in that most concerts are much more interactive. Your child can move, dance, and watch a show that is solely meant to entertain. Bringing your child to a concert can bring pure joy to their hearts, giving them the motivation to continue to listen to, and perhaps even play, musical instruments of their own.
Need more reasons on why you should take your child to a concert? Check out Experience Live Music with your Family here on Daily Mom
Have Instruments at Home for Free Play
Your child loves to play, so why not bring together playtime and music? There are several different play instruments you can purchase for your child depending on their age. For babies and younger children, play sets with shaky eggs, tambourines, or miniature drums can help with motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
However, for older children, real instruments are often seen as more beneficial because they allow the child to learn how to use the instrument properly as well as all the components of the instrument.
What Instrument Should Be the First?
Drums are often not the first thing that comes to mind when a parent thinks about getting their child their first instrument. However, there are several reasons drums are beneficial, especially for the younger crowd. Drums are often the base of most songs. They keeps the beat, the timing, and the rhythm for the rest of the instruments in the group. They help with coordination and motor skills as they often use both the feet and the hands to play. Drums are the backbone of most songs, and are perfect for a child’s first instrument.
When parents think of drums, though, they think of large acoustic drum sets that take up significant space and are extremely loud. However, electric drum sets like the ones from Yamaha are neither large nor loud. These drums have a knob in which you can control the volume– you can even wear a set of headphones so no one else can hear you play at all making it perfect for kids (although that’s more for the parents’ benefit).
The Yamaha DTX402K Electric Drums are also smaller in size than traditional drum sets. They don’t take up significant space because the drums themselves are smaller. They are also easily adjustable to fit the size of the player, making it great for children of all ages or even the adults who want to rock out.
These drums are more than just a play set, though. They also offer recording capabilities so you can listen back to the music you played as well as training modules with games and songs to practice. The DTX402 Touch app includes metronome practice to help with timing, play-along songs with musical genres like pop, rock, metal, EDM, hip hop, jazz, and latin, or use their training modes to help make you a better drum player.
Drums give a child the opportunity to work on their motor skills using one of their natural inclinations as a child- being loud and moving big. The Yamaha DTX402K Electric Drum set allows them to do this in a controlled environment both quietly and without taking up a ton of space. They can listen to themselves play, record their songs, and even practice with the Yamaha DTX402K drums, making it the perfect first instrument.
Play Music Games
Games are always fun for kids, but musical games bring a whole other level of fun. Some musical games you can play with your kids to increase exposure to music as well as help with motor functions and coordination are:
- Freeze Dance
- Musical Chairs
- Pass the Parcel
- Spin the Microphone
- Dance Competition
As children get older many parents enroll their child in formal lessons. Formal music lessons not only help a child learn how to play an instrument but research has also found that learning how to read music and play music by ear helps with cognitive development including memory, spatial awareness, and mathematical learning. Formal lessons are often piano, violin, and guitar all of which are wonderful options for fine motor skills.
Music is important part of our lives. It is always around us- whether it is at home, at school, in the car, or out in public- and can evoke emotions. It is important for a child to be exposed to music at a young age because research shows that music is beneficial for cognitive development, social and emotional development, and motor functions. Luckily, exposing your child to music is easy and the benefits of early exposure will be reaped again and again as they grow.
WANT TO READ MORE?
For more on the importance of music education by reading The Impact of Music in Children’s Lives and Education here on Daily Mom.