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The Practical Fruits of Early Music Exposure

Photography: Loren Stow
In last week's post we discussed the Magic of Music (if you missed it, go here), and in this post we wanted to list the fascinating benefits that music has on various areas of your child's development.

Mathematics:
  • Music changes the way neurons fire in your brain, after approximately 10 minutes of listening to a piano sonata your brain displays more orderly and efficient electrical impulses.
  • Music allows the brain to prepare itself to perform complex algebra problems.
  • The patterns found in music are similar to the patterns found in mathematics.
  • Both music and mathematics follow logical order and sequence.
  • Music increases spatial reasoning skills which is needed for understanding mathematics.

Reading:
  • The rhythm recognition within music helps with the ability to recognise syllables.
  • Pitch awareness in music assists with phonetic awareness in reading.
  • Auditory conceptualisation (the ability to 'hear' a song in your mind) assists when children start to read (by 'hearing' words in their minds).
  • The repetitive nature of the words in songs increases vocabulary which aids with understanding what you're reading.

Learning:
  • Music aids with building the ability to remember.
  • The patterns and predictability of music builds intellectual development.
  • Music helps to encourage goal orientation.

Social and Emotional Development:
  • Predictability of music and repetition increases feelings of security - especially with younger babies.
  • Enjoying music develops 'joint attention' and allows parent and child to share a moment together.
  • Music teaches imitation - especially when it comes to songs that have movements or specific sounds.
  • Music sets an 'emotional tone', allowing your baby to experience various emotions such as excitement, calmness, sleepiness, sadness, happiness etc.
  • Music is a form of self-expression and fosters joy.
While actively participating in music (such as dancing, clapping and singing) builds more neural pathways than listening alone, going a step further and teaching music to your child is even more beneficial.  Many studies have confirmed that children who formally learn music do better at school and receive better grades.

Music really is an amazing and magical gift to give your children - the love for which is outshone only by it's amazing brain-building qualities.

Words: Loren Stow
when we know better... we do better

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