Exactly how music enhances learning is not clear, but scientists believe that when children receive music instruction, their brains form connections between neurons in patterns that help them to do higher reasoning. Not only this, but it can help increase overall intelligence by shaping the types of attitudes, interests and discipline within children. Music can help children to focus and enhance their listening skills, increase concentration levels, help with co-ordination and relaxation, help increase patience levels, while also giving self-confidence and increasing self-esteem.
Developmental Music Sessions for Babies to 4 Year Olds
These sessions can be provided on a ‘family basis’ (one family or child seen at any one time) or within a small group setting for 2-4 yrs, and can help with overall development, using music as the main feature to help enhance cognitive ability, physical and social development, emotional awareness and listening ability, all involving parents/carers as well. Movement to music forms a large part of these sessions. Each programme is specifically devised for the following age ranges, and parent/child attends a small series of 30 minute sessions (individual family basis) or 45 minute sessions (small group):
- Newborn baby to 18 months (family basis)
- Toddler aged 18 months to 3 years (small group or family basis)
- Preschooler aged 3-5 years (small group or family basis)
Children with Special Needs
For children with special needs, sessions can be tailored to suit the individual child. The overall aim is to raise self-esteem, build on a sense of achievement, increase concentration levels, and provide a specific focus as required – this could be a focus on co-ordination skills, muscle control, interaction levels, or enhanced communication skills, for example. Sessions can be given on a ‘family basis’ or within a small group setting. For parents who are not able to attend sessions in Thelwall or Lymm with their child, home visits can often be arranged within a 25 mile radius.
Reinforcing Musical Activities at Home
The music sessions themselves are important, but we also encourage reinforcement of activities at home, and special instruction can be provided regarding this. Home materials (usually comprising of music CD, guide for parents, and age appropriate instrument) are also available for parents wanting to repeat the activities at home with their child.
Studies Involving Children & Music
There is substantial evidence indicating that babies are aware of and respond to music and different sounds inside the womb. Research also proves that early integration of music into a child’s daily routine means improving his ability to think, reason, create and express. A study found that preschool children in Los Angeles who received music training with keyboards performed 34% higher on tests for spatial-temporal reasoning than children who were trained on computers or had no special training at all. Spatial-temporal reasoning is what you use when you figure ratios or proportions, or manipulate images of things in your mind. It is at the heart of the higher-level brain functions that you use in playing chess, or doing science, maths, and other complex tasks.
Another study found that students who received an arts education that included music received higher SAT scores. Another year-long study of primary school children found that engaging in regular music sessions increased empathy skills and helped the children to recognise and consider emotions in others. Yet another study found that children with two years of music experience had reading levels that were 2 years ahead of their peers.