How music fosters early childhood development

Music is a wonderful thing and parents can use it to their advantage. The same way music is used in business to influence minds and sell products; it can also be used at home and in schools to help the development of children. Music can be used to help support, comfort, and motivate children.

Sound awareness begins before birth. Although a baby in the womb is far more in tune to the mother’s voice, they not only respond to external sounds and music but are known to behave differently depending on the volume and type of music being played. As parents share healthful vibrations with the baby, they can benefit from the power of music and sound, at the same time help raise the sound awareness of the baby while still in the womb.

The expectant mother can set aside periods of time to go to a quiet place, lie down, close their eyes and relax to their favourite sounds or music. Every gentle breath the mother takes will help send the message that the world their baby is about to enter is a safe place.

Familiar soothing and meditative sounds, particularly those that both mother and child learn to associate with rest and relaxation, can be played after the child is born to help soothe and calm the newborn baby. The music a mother listens to, particularly during the final trimester, is known to be effective in later getting the newborn baby’s attention, also in helping to comfort or stimulate them.

Newborn babies also enjoy lullabies and children’s songs, more so when they are done in mother tongue. Even from infancy as a child continues to grow, they can be introduced to various upbeat types, styles, and genres of music that are entertaining.

With practice, creativity, and some patience, you can use different types of music; nursery rhymes, traditional songs, and commercial jingles; to help teach your child a number of skills. Skills like rules of thumb, safety precautions, household responsibilities, and personal responsibilities. Music can be used very effectively to instil information, at the same time music can benefit a child as they learn to associate certain music to particular tasks.

Using melodies of your child’s favourite songs you can compose sets of lyrics with information to act as reminders for chores and responsibilities. Music brings enjoyment to chores, making them seem like games, thus fun. Music is very helpful in getting a child to focus on the task at hand. It also acts to set and maintain a tempo that helps to guide the child’s work speed. Music is also very good at blocking out competing thoughts. Thoughts that would suggest, “I want to go watch cartoons.” Or “I want to go play outside.” Music also helps to give a time frame for the task at hand and makes time seem to go by more quickly.

Crossing the road lyrics you can turn to music using a favourite tune;

Look right and look left. If there are no cars coming, look right again to make sure, and then begin to cross the road. As I reach the yellow line in the middle, I look left again. If there are still no cars in sight, I continue to the other side of the road. Look right, look left, and look right again.

Together you and your child can create lyrics for music to help with chores and responsibilities such as:  turning off gadgets and appliances after use; putting toys away;  making the bed; tooth brushing; and so on. You can harness the power of music to benefit your child. Children tend to learn and remember favourite tunes and rhymes more easily than mare suggestions and responsibilities that parents may try to give.

You can also try nursery rhymes and songs like, “ten green bottles standing on the wall.” Or “this old man, he played one.”  Then there is the alphabet song with its well known traditional melody.

Songs that help establish number order as well as help a child with mastering the alphabet. These are some of the first nursery songs a child will learn. A fun exercise to do at home: using songs you and your child select, replace the actual lyrics of a song with numbers or with the letters of the alphabet. Some songs will flow naturally, some will be almost impossible. The challenge for the both of you is to find melodies you are able to convert to number songs and alphabet songs. It’s a good idea to have a number chart and an alphabet chart in front of you as you attempt to fit numbers and, or letters, into the melodies.

I create and develop content for children. One of my productions is a set of music titled ‘DAYS OF THE WEEK’. These are eight sing-along songs that will help a child – know, name and spell days of the week while having fun.

Music can also be used as a tool to motivate children to move away from the virtual world. Due to work and other responsibilities, parents are busy people. As a result, television and video games tend to provide a convenient babysitting option. In our rapidly changing world of technology, engaging in computer-related activities can prove useful and beneficial.

But there is some concern at the time children spend watching TV, playing video games, or chatting online. There is a need for active socialization and exercise, for children to run around and play active games, burn calories and develop motor skills. There are musical tools that parents can consider for jump-starting otherwise inactive children to make time and play active games.

Encourage your child to show and teach you some of the songs, games and dances they are learning. Be actively interested and provide positive feedback to encourage and support their efforts.

Music exercise videos are another rich resource that parents can use to inspire and coordinate physical activities for their children. And for parents willing to share their exercise time with their children this can serve as quality time for them too. This makes it possible for them to fulfil their physical workout needs while bonding, with the parent being a role model for their children.

Exercise videos can also be used to increase the social activities of a child. A child can be allowed to select exercise videos that they can enjoy with a close friend interested in taking part in the activity. The goal is to motivate your child to engage in actual physical exercise in a controlled purposeful activity. In addition to fitness, this can lead to a well-rounded child, as they benefit from positive challenges that stimulate them to tap into their creativity and develop fresh, innovative ways of looking at the world and dealing with situations.

Music can be used to creatively design exercises for topics to promote self-exploration and inspire a child to tap into recourses that can trigger independent thinking and awareness to different ways of listening to themselves and the world about them.

A healthy diet, regular exercise, unconditional love, a nurturing safe environment, and a good night’s sleep, all rank with the very top factors that contribute to a happy, healthy child.

For a good night’s sleep, music can be a natural, calming part of the bedtime ritual. Select your child’s favourite music to serve as their bedtime music. There are also sound machines that come with, stream, rain, waterfall, forest, even heartbeat, and other soothing sounds. These will help to quiet your child’s mind as well as to block unwanted sounds.

A good night’s sleep is essential for a well rested and lively child, functioning at their full potential. Make sure your child wakes up to soft, comforting sounds. Instead of a loud alarm, you can use a time setting sound device programmed with music or nature sounds that can be set as a regular alarm. How a person wakes up helps set them for the rest of the day.

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