5 Reasons Music Classes Matter for Kids

Posted in General By  admin On April 3, 2015

Thinking of signing your baby or toddler up for a music and movement class? Check out our list of reasons you should say “Yes!” to music!

  1. Musical ability can be learned
    Have you ever thought you just weren’t ‘born’ with musical talent? Well think again. Teresa Coehlo, Director of Music Together® in Marblehead, Salem, and Beverly Farms, is quick to point out that “all children are musical, and have the capacity to develop this ability.” In fact, there is evidence to suggest that there is a small window of time in early childhood during which children develop the complex skills of singing and music making. Exposing children to music and movement early in life doesn’t just nurture musical talent; it also fosters a lifetime love of music.
  1. Music stimulates your child’s whole brain
    Did you know that music can actually use your child’s “whole brain?” Some studies have suggested that listening to or engaging with music is one of the few activities that stimulates multiple networks in the brain, including motor function, creativity, and emotions. Wow!
  1. Yes, YOU can say your baby is bilingual!
    Babies start learning verbal language the moment they are born, and some say even it begins before that. As Coelho points out, “It takes an average of 3 years for children to start expressing themselves verbally in a competent way.” We all know how hard it is to learn a language the older we get. Music can be considered another language, and is learned much more easily and naturally in early childhood than later in life. “The backbone of playing and singing is audiation,” explains Coehlo, “which is the brain’s ability to give meaning to sounds. Audiation is akin to thinking in another language. In other words, you can say what you mean without having to think of each word.” (or note!)
  2. Social skills – everybody needs ‘em
    Early childhood music and movement classes are important for developing music skills, but they are also a place for children to have FUN, learn how to interact with other children in a positive way, and lay the foundation for skills they will need in school. “Repetition, routine, and participation are essential skills for learning all subjects, and music classes make use of each of these in every class,” explains Coelho. Last but not least – music classes are a great way for parents and caretakers to get to know each other too.
  1. Don’t forget – You can learn from your child too
    Watching children in a music class can remind us of how refreshing uninhibited creative play can be. As Coelho puts it, “I am a trained musician, yet teaching children has taught me a LOT about music. It is easy as an adult musician to become too caught up in hitting the right note, subsequently forgetting that the ultimate goal is to communicate through music. Children learn through play, and by experimenting with music.” And we would probably all do better by taking a page from their book.Last but not least, do your research when choosing the right music program for you and your child. There are a lot of choices out there, and some are certain to do a better job of introducing your child to music. Look for programs with a rich variety of musical concepts, including different scales & tempos, diverse styles of music, dynamics, substitution, and improvisation.

Teresa Coelho is Director of Music Together of Marblehead, Salem & Beverly Farms and a lifelong musician and music lover. Coelho started playing guitar and flute as a child, and after obtaining a degree in music, was awarded a scholarship to Berklee School of Music. She successfully performed and toured for more than 15 years before having a child of her own and consequently getting involved in musical education for children.