Benefits of Music for Children
All over the world, parents bond with their babies through musical sounds and rhythmic movement. They rock and swing their children, put them to sleep with lullabies, make them laugh with nursery rhymes. Parents know instinctively what scientists have now proven: young children thrive on music. It’s one of the best vehicles for learning in early childhood development and it has been proven to improve early brain development. And, did we mention it’s fun for kids and parents alike?!
Psychologists, neuroscientists, and experts in early childhood development have demonstrated that music does more for children than bring them joy; it helps their brain cells make the connections needed for virtually every kind of intelligence. My Little Conservatory’s curriculum is built on this research.
When young children are consistently engaged by music in an age-appropriate, socially accepting environment, they benefit at many levels:
Early Literacy. They gain the phonological processing, spoken language, and comprehension skills that are the foundation of reading.
Quantitative. They build the spatial-temporal and reasoning skills required for math, science, and engineering.
Social-Emotional. They develop social and emotional skills that are essential for school readiness like the ability to regulate their responses and relate to others in complex ways.
Physical. By moving and dancing to music and playing simple instruments, children improve their gross and fine motor skills.
Creative. Activities that encourage freedom within a fun and friendly structure spark children’s creativity and provide inspiration.
And of course, they develop a lifelong love of music.
Research & Academic Quotes
Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart. -Shinichi Suzuki, creator of the Suzuki method of music educator
Music education is terribly important, extremely important because when you are a child, you are in a receptive age. – Eugene Ormandy, conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra
95% of Americans in a 2003 Gallup Poll believe that music is a key component in a child’s well-rounded education; three quarters of those surveyed feel that schools should mandate music education. -2003 Gallup Poll, American Attitudes Toward Music
Studying music encourages self discipline and diligence traits that carry over into mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history and geography. -No Child Left Behind Act
The nations top business executives agree that arts education programs can help repair weaknesses in American education and better prepare workers for the 21st century. -The Changing Workplace is Changing Our View of Education, Business Week
When a child learns by experience that music forges direct links between self and world, self-expression becomes more fluent; the music helps interpret who I am. -Growing up Complete, the report of the National Commission on Music Education
Children learn better with arts as part of the curriculum. They learn all their subjects better. They’re more engaged. Teacher attendance goes up. The child is happier; the teacher is happier. -Jane Alexander, former Chair, National Endowment for the Arts
Great art doesn’t just happen. It has to be produced by people whose talent and skill are recognized early, nurtured, and given room to grow. Art needs, too, educated audiences to view it, listen to it, and pay for it. But audiences are created only if we educate our children to understand, appreciate, and make art themselves. And that means arts education. -Carol Sterling, Consultant, Arts Education
An arts education helps build academic skills and increase academic performance, while also providing alternative opportunities to reward the skills of children who learn differently. -Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor
Links to Articles & Quotes
Pediatrician David Geller talks about the age that children are ready for music lessons, and even mentions Kindermusik: http://www.babycenter.com/404_when-can-we-start-music-lessons_6876.bc
Recent article supporting music and its benefits: http://www.economist.com/sciencetechnology/displayStory.cfm?story_id=12795510
New research explores how and why music affects our brains: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/music-and-the-brain/
Article explores why music makes us happy: http://www.divinecaroline.com/self/self-discovery/why-music-makes-us-happy
Resources on music education from NAfME (National Association for Music Education): http://nafme.org/
A collection of quotes from business leaders about the importance of the arts for a well-balanced life: http://www.performingartsconvention.org/advocacy/id=28
Includes a practical guide for how to get involved with supporting music: http://www.supportmusic.com/