Posts Tagged ‘early childhood education’
We know all about how music boosts linguistic ability in students, but a new study proves that even infants too young to speak can benefit from musical training.
Canadian researchers conducted a six-month study of two sets of one-year-olds that had similar communication and social development. Both groups attended music classes during the study, and neither had previously participated in baby music instruction. One group’s class consisted of the infants visiting various toy stations as “Baby Einstein” played in the background. The other group’s instruction involved interactive music making; these infants learned songs, nursery rhymes, and lullabies, and parents and infants worked together playing percussion instruments and singing songs.
At the end of the six-month study, babies in the more interactive classes had developed larger and/or earlier brain responses to musical tones than those in the less interactive group. They also showed a bias to hearing music played in key, as opposed to toddlers in the passive listening group, which showed no preference between melodies played in key versus songs with out-of-key notes thrown in.
But the benefits from interactive lessons weren’t all music related. Babies from the interactive group were also better communicators – waving goodbye or pointing at far away objects. And socially, this group smiled more, was easier to comfort, and was more adaptable during stressful situations.
So, while playing music at home provides great exposure for infants, get the maximum benefit by going a step further. Sing songs, play interactive musical games with little ones, and sign them up for music lessons. If toddlers could talk, they’d thank you.
Music can come in many different forms so including it in your childrenâ€™s lives can be quite easy.
Very young children and their parents may attend classes such as Kindermusik http://www.kindermusik.com and a program called Music for Young Children http://www.myc.com. Participants are encouraged to sing, move, play musical games and even create sounds and rhythms on childrenâ€™s musical instruments. Each child has a parent present to help facilitate the program to those of such a young age.
Dance classes for children often start as early as three years old and involve active participation in moving to different types of music. Beware of studios whose teachers are mere children themselves (ie: young teens), however, because teaching little ones of this tender age requires the skill and insight of a highly trained professional. Little children may be included in dance recitals that, if presented properly, can be a fun experience that helps develop confidence at an early age.
Todayâ€™s retailers boast a wide variety of stimuli for kids of all ages from videos to CDâ€™s to interactive musical toys and books. Some products stem from childrenâ€™s television programs and their familiarity makes them quite popular. Others encourage kids to sing along or introduce them to new repertoire to which they have not yet been exposed.
Television itself can be a wonderful tool through which to introduce your children to music and have them actively participate. Parents are encouraged to watch childrenâ€™s television and choose programming they deem appropriate for their kids. Little ones continue to love Barney, the big purple dinosaur, as well as Sharon, Lois and Bram and other childrenâ€™s entertainers. And donâ€™t worry if you donâ€™t have the latest cable channels. Public television stations carry a lot of quality childrenâ€™s programming as do many local networks, however, donâ€™t assume that because the program is categorized as a childrenâ€™s show that every parent will approve of every show. Be selective and decide what it is that you want your child taking away from their viewing time.
One of the easiest activities to introduce kids to music is simply to sing with them. They love repetition so songs with a chorus, even if not familiar to them, will soon become a favorite. Parents donâ€™t have to know all the latest songs â€“ there are external sources such as CDâ€™s and videos that contain these. Anything, as familiar as â€œTwinkle Twinkle Little Starâ€ and other such songs will get the job done. Remember the songs you knew and loved as a child? Well, your kids will love them too!