The role of kids music activities in child development
Incorporating music into routines and play is incredibly important to child development. As well as getting them moving and developing rhythm and balance, music can also improve fine motor skills, boost confidence and improve communication skills.
A study at York university showed that, after only one month of music lessons, 90% of children between the ages of 4 and 6 had a significant increase in verbal intelligence and executive function. In simple terms, it improved their ability to understand words and explain their meaning. In 2016, scientists at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute also discovered a link between accelerated brain development and music in early childhood. There are many more where music has been found to be related to better language and mathematical skills, higher IQ and overall greater academic achievement.
What is a good age for kids to start music classes?
Music is a great form of creative expression that helps develop confidence - and who wouldn’t want to start boosting their children's self esteem as early as possible?
The reality is, the age that kids should start music classes very much depends on both the child and the type of class. For more formal music classes, teachers might prefer children to be at school age, where they are more used to sitting still and focussing on a set activity. Other music classes will be specifically focused on promoting a love of music in younger kids through less structured activities such as singing or experimenting with rhythm and general noise-making! The key thing to remember is that a love for music can be fostered at any age - all you need to do is find the right class.
Types of music classes for kids
There are a wide variety of music classes for kids. You might find that one fits better with your lifestyle or your child's interests than another. For younger children, music classes and activities can be an amazing bonding experience between them and their parents, grandparents or other caregivers. For older children, a chance to hone their skills and be creative.
The wide array of music classes for kids include anything from rhyme, rhythm and singing classes for younger children, stage-school classes that combine drama and music, classes that focus on specific instruments, to specific musical genres such as folk music classes for kids. The key is finding a musical activity that your child will enjoy.
Do I need to invest in a musical instrument upfront?
When it comes to choosing a music class, one of your first considerations should be whether or not you want to invest in an instrument. While most will loan or hire them as part of the class, some will require you to purchase your own. Chat to the teacher or activity provider to find out. If your child's interest in music grows, and they stick at it, then you may choose to buy their own. However, it's wise to see how much time your child will actually spend practising before making a big commitment.
What are the other benefits for music classes for kids?
We teased you with this at the start of the article - here are some of the other wonderful benefits that music has for kids and adults alike:
Music makes you feel good
There’s no denying that there’s something therapeutic about listening (and dancing!) to music. Research shows that the brain releases dopamine, a “feel-good” neurotransmitter which causes us to feel emotions like happiness, excitement, and joy. It’s also been shown to alleviate depression and even help reduce pain!
Music lowers stress
As well as releasing feel good neurotransmitters, music also decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body. If you’ve heard of people playing music while in surgery, or read about the benefits of music therapy, then that’s why!
Did someone mention music and better sleep?
That’s right. Music can help people to fall asleep faster and get better sleep. According to The Sleep Foundation, “In addition to facilitating quickly falling asleep and improving sleep quality, playing music before bed can improve sleep efficiency, which means more time that you are in bed is actually spent sleeping.” Got to be worth a try, right?
Music keeps your brain healthy
This is planning ahead a little, considering that this is an article which is focussed on kids music classes, but we were pretty impressed to learn that music can keep your brain healthy in old age. Research shows that music builds and repairs neural pathways - with studies now showing that it can keep elderly brains healthy, benefit people with Alzheimer's and even help repair damage caused by strokes!
Whether you’re young or old, in good or bad health, happy or sad, music can improve the quality of your life. It reduces stress and anxiety, lifts your mood, boosts your health, helps you sleep better, takes away your pain, and even makes you smarter. Who wouldn’t want that for the lovely little people in their lives? Search for a music class now.