Why Music Is Important In Child Development – 8 Benefits Of Music And Dancing
The other night when I was trying to get my son to go to sleep I played some songs from a group called the Barenaked Ladies. Specifically songs from their first album called Gordon like ENID, HELLO CITY, AND GRADE 9. They are a music group from Canada that most people outside of Canada have not heard of. I was singing to my son their songs as they played on YouTube. He loved them and was singing along in his way and DANCING as well. It was during this moment that I became inspired to research more into the benefits of music and dancing in my son’s development.
I started by asking why music is important in child development and found a variety of benefits it provides children. I only have my children as to draw upon so I do not if some or most children enjoy music and dancing. In the case of my children both love listening to a wide variety of music and love dancing even more so. Even if your child does not like listening and dancing to music there are a variety of benefits why you should be encouraging them. Babies in their mother’s womb respond to all sorts of sounds including their mother’s voice and music by moving their limbs.
Developing Rhythm Improves Coordination
Music helps children improve their coordination by developing rhythm when they are able to identify move with the music. They learn how to time the movement of their bodies along with the music which develops motor skills they will be able to use in other areas of their lives including sports. For younger children it helps them learn spacial awareness of others around them so they do not run into others while dancing and listening to music. Being from Canada I honestly am a bad dancer compared to my wife who is from a Latin culture. Thankfully my children have picked up on the ability to dance from her. I did not know many kids or adults while growing up in Canada that were good dancers. The majority danced with straight bodies and shuffling their feet about. Next time you go to a concert check out the surrounding people, most will be swaying or jumping around. We really do not know how to dance.
Our children though have the opportunity if they encouraged to do so to become better dancers. They will get better by practice dancing and improving their rhythm. I learned that children who dance research has shown that kids who are able to follow along with a beat do much better in academics. The ability to identify a beat and reproduce it shows that they can identity patterns which is a very important math skill. I would not ever have thought that. But this is one important reason to have your child involved in some sort of extra curricular activity that they enjoy such as dancing and music.
Develops Ability To Move
Music helps children develop the ability to move their bodies and make strong connections between their mind and body. Sitting too long is bad for adults. Most people now will agree on this. Children have an even greater need to move their bodies so they can learn and grow. Dancing to music while listening to the rhythm helps them develop this ability.
Whether listening or dancing to music the effect on their growing brains is immense. It nurtures their neural nerves to increase connections between the two hemispheres. This will have the potential to increase their abilities to communicate better, learn new subjects and material in school easier and increase their potential for learning vocabulary among others.
In addition, when young children are beginning to learn their first language, they use physical communication to express themselves such as when they are kicking, punching and making different faces. Music increases the rate at which they move through this process for them. Swaying along with music helps children develop their co-ordination, balance and control. Listening skills also benefit from music and dance as they are required to be able to properly move their bodies along with the music as they dance. As time passes and they become better at dancing so will their ability to listen which is an invaluable life skill in all areas.
Literacy And Numeracy
Children from a very young have the ability to hear the difference in all types of sounds. Research has shown that at just a few weeks old babies can identify their mother’s voice in a group of people. Increasing our children’s exposure to music (a variety) increases children natural ability to break down the sounds within words which helps in acquiring language.
By singing songs to your child they will learn through repetition to identity sound patterns. Language is made up of sounds which is a skill children will need to master in order to become fluent in their own language. Being exposed to songs again and again will teach them how to anticipate the next part before they occur. Children who master these skills will be building a strong foundation for their literacy and numeracy.
Makes Them Feel Better
Simply put, music has the ability to change the feelings our children have. If they are sad it can quickly make them feel happier and want to have fun again. If they need to relax but are having a hard time doing so, it can help them with that as well. Try incorporating music into your child’s daily routine to assist you getting them where they need to be at each moment mentally and emotionally. I know I do and hardly have to say too much to change how they are feeling.
Improved Physical Health
It does not need to be said that dancing is a great physical activity to help the dancer get in shape. It requires all the muscles in the body to work together, some of which may not regularly be utilized. Regular dancing increases your children flexibility, range of motion, physical strength and stamina.
In addition, regular dancing helps develop muscle tone, improve body posture, balance, coordination and overall cardiovascular health. If your child is over weight and sensitive about it consider starting a dance class at home for children who are overweight if one does not already exist in your area. Being around other kids who want to lose weight will give them peer support and allow them to not feel ashamed since other kids will be in the same position. Dancing is easy to do and has the great potential to improve the health of your child along with a smart eating habits.
If your children are not dancers per se do not worry, the most important thing is they get physical exercise. There are many ways you can encourage and help them develop their ability to dance such as having a friend who dances help or watching videos of people who dance well.
Develops Ability To Make Friends
Music and dancing have the potential for our children to make friends with other kids who love the same thing. They have to be social when dancing so naturally it has the ability for them to make friends with one another. It improves social skills as they communicate with one another to execute the dance moves, learn teamwork and a sense of trust with other kids.
Dancing has the added benefit of helping children become better students as it requires a great deal of commitment to become very good at it. Dancing regularly helps children learn the skills to also become excellent academic students as the skills they learn to dance can cross over and be used at school. Focus, dedication and following through are required to become better at dancing as they are also in their studies.
Becoming good at dancing requires a lot of time and commitment. When they achieve a goal they set for themselves to be learn a dance routine naturally it helps improve their self-esteem which benefits them in all areas of their lives. Children need self-esteem in order to learn to make correct choices in their lives and deal with peer-pressure. Dancing can help give this to them.
Music and dancing are very important for your child’s development as I hope you have been able to gather from my post.
I encourage you if you are not already doing so to begin encouraging your child to listen to music and dance more.
Read more on the BENEFITS of dancing in an earlier post I wrote.
Thank you for your time.
Proud papa of two,