How music affects a child’s brain development
Babies get used to hearing sound and music from an extremely early age, sometimes even as early as in the womb. Although putting music on for your unborn baby to hear can trigger a response such as a raised heart rate or a wriggle, there isn’t any evidence to suggest that this improves intelligence. It does, however, help them to recognise familiar noises that offer comfort once they’ve been born.
But how else does music affect a child’s brain development? This month, The Muswell Hill Preschool is here to share some insight into the effects music has on children, as well as offer some music activities for preschoolers to help boost and improve brain development in the early years.
What music can do to a child’s brain development
Music has the ability to soothe a child to sleep when there are tears at night. With a simple classical tune or a lullaby, your child’s breathing is likely to become more controlled and their muscles much more relaxed, which lulls them into a deep sleep. Once asleep, the brain is able to remove toxins that have been built up in the day and restore itself for the long, bright day ahead.
With music’s ability to relax a child’s mind and encourage sleep so that they can grow, there’s no doubt that music has the ability to do even more for a child’s brain development when awake.
Music for baby brain development plays a very important role in the early years as it can improve their:
- ability to make friends – having shared interests in music
- memory – remembering lyrics and dances
- health and wellbeing – by listening to music to improve mood
- motor skills and coordination – learning how to play an instrument
- sensory development – learning through making music or singing
- sticking to a routine – practising an instrument or singing can get them used to set activities at preschool
- their bond with you – singing to and with your child or playing music with them can help strengthen your bond
- vocabulary and speech – singing along to music can help your child control their voice and its volume
Music activities for preschoolers
Whether it’s listening, singing, moving to the music or learning a musical instrument, there are plenty of music activities for preschoolers that can boost a child’s brain development.
Here are some music activities for preschoolers that will get you and your child laughing and having fun in no time.
Sing random things to your child
If you’d like your child to remember something, the best way to get them to remember a word, phrase or reminder, is to turn it into a song. A good way to get them to remember their manners is to get them to pass you something, and when you take it from them, sing ‘thank you’. Your child will pick up on this and start to mimic your behaviour. You can do this with most things, when you say ‘good morning’, ‘good night’, ‘goodbye’.
Introduce children to different types of music
There are so many different genres of music today, so play the whole range to your child and see which style they like best. To name a few, there’s nursery rhymes, classical music, theatre music, folk and pop. It might be good to experiment with the styles of music, for example, when your child draws at home, put on some opera music and the next day nursery rhymes. See if the music they listen to influences their creativity.
Introduce your child to different types of instruments
Music activities for preschoolers are important in the early years because at this stage in life, children are willing and confident to listen, dance and sing to music, as well as pick up an instrument and see what noise it makes. And by giving them a few instruments to play with, such as bells, tambourines, recorders or drums, they can enjoy some sensory play. When introducing your child to different types of instruments, talk to them through pitch, tone and volume. They might not understand at first but keep at it – they might find their passion for music!
Matching musical game
To stimulate the frontal cortex in a child’s brain that holds both short-term and long-term memories, (known as the hippocampus), play the matching musical game. This is one of the best music activities for preschoolers that will help your child remember their favourite songs. For this game, you will need twelve 10cmx10cm squares of paper for your child to draw on. On one side of each square of paper, have your child draw a symbol that represents some of their favourite songs. Get them to think of four songs that they like, it might be “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Humpty Dumpty” and “Pat-a-Cake”. Now draw a symbol, such as a star, on one side of three separate pieces of paper, and do the same for the rest. Now your child will have four different symbols and three of each. Turn the squares over and play the memory game! Take turns with your child to pick up a square and find the other two squares that match. As you turn them over, don’t forget to sing their favourite songs with them.
Connect with The Muswell Hill Preschool
At The Muswell Hill Preschool, we have a passion for innovation and excellence in child care and child education. We help all children in our care to build strong foundations that will lead them onto a successful path as they grow and develop.
Thanks to our state-of-the-art, purpose-built facilities, we’re able to offer a vast range of activities to help your child explore, discover, create and learn. Our activities include art, literacy, mathematics, performing arts and plenty more!
If you’d like to look around The Muswell Hill Preschool yourself online, you can take a virtual tour of our premises right now, and when you’re ready to, contact our dedicated professionals to arrange an appointment to view our preschool with your child.