Learning music at an early age is an important part of a child’s development. The act of making music affects learning and cognitive skills on multiple levels. At first, children are intrigued at the sounds coming from various instruments. They bang on them, or blow into them which creates a noise and gives them a thrill. After a while, they will grow tired of hearing the same sound over and over, and will explore other ways to use the instrument. Soon there will find that by playing it in different ways, it makes different sounds, and thus starts the learning process.
Kids will remember the first sounds that it makes as they learn the new sounds. In most cases, they will develop patterns of playing the same number of notes back to back. Over time, they will build on these to a point where they have created their own little song. While they think they are just having fun, they are actually learning very important tools, that they will use in the future. It starts with sound recognition, and associating a specific action to create that sound. Then they develop memory skills when they have to go back and play the first notes again. Compounding on that are pattern recognition skills where they are learning the patterns of the sounds they are producing, and how to go back and play the same patterns again.
While to a child he/she is just having fun, they are developing parts of the brain through these exercises that can be used in every aspect of their lives. Of all the developmental skills a child can learn, music is one of the quickest and most enjoyable for the kids. It is important that parents nurture these activities not just to provide enjoyment for their children, but to help them learn as well. While all of these sounds can be annoying at times, they are truly beneficial in the long run.
So what can we do as parents to help? There are many types of children’s toys that are adapted for musical use. Small pianos, xylophones, and even small guitars can bring hours of enjoyment to a child. Once a parent sees that their child has interesting music, they should take the next steps in encouraging their kids to continue and to give them positive reinforcement. Once the child becomes proficient enough, parents can invest in learning tools or even instructors to help get their children to the next level of play. Music is a wonderful part of our lives, and if children show an interest in it, we should help them develop their talents. Not only does it nurture their soul, but it helps in their overall learning process.