Music is an important part of our children’s development, and it is also a great learning tool.
Just play a song in any room filled with children and they will move along with the beat! They will not care if their dance moves aren’t the best; they will just dance and have fun. How we wish we could be like that too. Just like that famous quote goes: “Dance like nobody’s watching; sing like nobody’s listening.”
Well, we certainly can help our children to enjoy music, learn from it and have this feeling that nobody is “watching.”
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I used to listen to a children’s country music CD several times a day while working on my chores around the house. I never thought much of it, until she was born and I played that CD again… I can’t remember exactly how old she was, but she was not even a year old when I played that CD again and she started to dance to the songs and “sing” to the lyrics. Of course, it was just a “mumble jumble,” but she was really into it. My daughter is now 18 years old and she still loves that CD, even though she is not a big fan of country music.
So, dear parents, if you want your children to appreciate music, perhaps your own musical style, start early.
As a teacher, I can also tell you some benefits that music can have on children’s learning development. Children can learn so much through music. I teach a Grade 2 class in a Spanish bilingual program. We use music to learn new vocabulary, learn how to count, have fun and relax. It all depends on the style of music we play, the volume that we choose, and the amount of times we repeat the songs.
Music can also support children with movement and balance. When I teach my gym classes I try to incorporate some songs to the activities we play and it is amazing to see how the children respond to it. (You can try this at home, if you haven’t yet.) Play a calm song and the games will have a nice flow; play a very upbeat song, and the activity can get wild, very quickly….
Throughout my teaching career, I have read so many studies that attribute to music several benefits in a child’s life, such as: music can improve literacy skills; music can inspire and create a positive mood; music can boost confidence; etc. However, what I have seen above all is that music can be a special part of our lives by bringing back old memories and creating new ones.
My advice to parents, as a mom and as a teacher: listen to music with your children, sing to them, and let them sing to you. Teach them songs from your childhood, learn the songs that your children are singing at school, and sing along with them. Take your children to a concert, to the park, sing and dance with them. Let them sing in the shower, sing in the shower too! Enjoy all the benefits that music can bring to your life.
Claudia Sasse is a mom and teacher, with a master’s degree in elementary education. Born in Brazil, Sasse has lived in Airdrie with her husband and daughter since 2009.