Music impacts all of us. We don’t need to be researchers to recognise this from our own life experiences. The range of music out there is so diverse and so our preferences will differ, but I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t enjoy music of some kind.
Beyond appreciating music, music also provokes emotions and can alter our moods. When we’re lying in a bubble bath trying to relax after a long day of “mommy-ing”, we’re most likely to choose gentle music to calm us. But, we’re taking our baby out for a walk, chances are we’ll choose something faster, more upbeat, to get us moving.
As moms, we easily recognise the effects of music on our children. In the newborn days, music can help to soothe. I remember many nights pacing up and down my lounge with my fretful, colicky son. Music helped to calm me, during those long hours, which, on reflection, calmed my boy too.
Music also stimulates memory … many of us will recall a specific time in our lives, by hearing a song or piece of music.
We now know that when a baby is born, the brain has significantly more neurons that it does as an adult. As a child matures, many neurons do not survive. However, each time an item is stored and cross referenced in the brain, a new pathway to that item is sensitized.
If you’re anything like me, my brain switches off when I hear “scientific” stuff, but, stay with me! This brain-based research shows that music can be used as a catalyst for general learning and memory association. Music can be a positive gateway to learning in so many amazing ways.
As our little ones grow, music can have a profound effect as baby starts to move, sway or clap to music. Children move to music instinctively. The underlying rhythms, somehow connect with their growing brains, and they spontaneously respond.
In the toddler years, as language and speech are developing, music can be used to encourage children to recognise words. Rhyming words are important in language development, and the benefits can even be seen later when learning to read and spell in Grade 1. Positive exposure early on, creates a wonderful foundation for learning in a fun and gentle way.
As children reach pre-school years, music can continue to stimulate learning in many spheres. Because music can be both an individual and group experience, it can encourage social skills such as listening, sharing, taking turns, following instructions etc.
In addition to making wonderful new friends in our classes, the Wriggle and Rhyme music programme has been carefully developed to inspire children to appreciate music and have fun, while learning in a relaxed but structured environment.
We hope to welcome you and your budding musician to our musical family sometime soon!