Friday, October 24, 2008

Kids Love Music and Music is Great For Kids

Recently I came across some incredible information that I can only hope is accurate. It has to do primarily with the affects that music has on the development of children. It is really fascinating stuff.

Music is great when it comes to kids for some obvious reasons. They enjoy it. They try to sing themselves and learn about rhythm and discover the kinds of music and songs that they like. They incorporate music into their sense of play and often use it to socialize with other children in one way or another.

Apparently though there is some discussion that music actually can help enhance the cognitive abilities of preschoolers. It helps to develop their intelligence, their ability to reason through situations as well as their memory and language skills. Apparently the more often a child is exposed to music the better off they will be.

I believe that music is definitely integral to a person's development. It doesn't take much study to see how music can immediately alter the mood of an individual. Additionally, music seems to have the ability to change energy levels in people in an instant. Remember the last time you attended a sporting event that was slow moving and boring and then suddenly an upbeat chant or tune began being played on the PA system? That seems like an obvious example of how energy and mood can be enhanced by music.

I'm not sure if I believe that excessive amounts of music will unquestionably enhance a child's development. There has to be time for other things as well. The same could be said about other forms of entertainment. As my family doctor would say, "everything in moderation." I would also be curious about the types of music you are exposing your child to. There is considerable support for classical. This is prevalent with all of the baby video series using classical composers. It would seem that the gentle nature of classical would benefit preschoolers. Again, there is always the question of tone and tempo. What about jazz or rhythm and blues? It would be interesting to see the results.

It is proposed that kids learn a lot more from music than simply skills related to music. Apparently they also develop physical skills by listening to music such as coordination and balance. This is worked out mostly through dancing and the interpretation of song and rhythm. Cognitive development is also enhanced through exposure to music including such things as problem solving, spatial skills, mathematics and creativity.

The results of these studies are intriguing. What doesn't seem to be addressed is how well these children would have their cognition developed without the same kind of exposure. I would be curious to see if the development would have been equal say to a child who instead of music, would undergo a series of exercises to develop those skill sets. It would also be interesting to see if there were ever children studied who actually were more distracted by their exposure to music which led to slower development. There are so many other aspects of the study that would be interesting to work out.

Regardless of what you believe, it is good to see that the results of exposure to music in developing children is predominantly positive. I have yet to see a child who doesn't enjoy some form of music. Clearly, whatever is happening developmentally inside those tiny heads, the kids seem to be enjoying it. What kind of person wouldn't enjoy music. In fact, I would go far as to say that if you discover a child who doesn't enjoy any music at all, you should probably watch very closely. I have yet to see such a thing happen. So in the meantime, keep getting down with your bad selves and let your kids play that music and find their groove. Apparently, it is really good for them. It will probably be a lot easier to get them to try than broccoli.

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