When a baby is born, it takes them a while to get a clear vision, but hearing is one of the earliest senses to develop, and in fact babies can listen from the womb of their mother even before they are born. When a baby is banging a spoon or dragging a vessel, it is the easiest way to perceive cause and effect. Music is one of the first stimuli that babies connect with and that is the reason they find comfort in a lullaby or even a parent’s voice.
It is also due to this affinity to sounds, musical toys such as Rattles encourage infants to build the sensory perception and fine motor skills like grasping and grabbing. When your little one holds, picks up, and shakes it to make some noise, they are also working on their fine motor skills and dexterity. This skill is crucial for them to use tools like pencils, chalk, scissors, etc. in the future. Wrist rattles for babies are another toy that comes as a beautiful accessory and at the same time a great sensory toy for their playtime.
Whether it's the traditional Ghungroo for the babies or the shiny shoes with quirky sounds in them, music always cheers up the child and those around them.
As the child grows, giving musical toys could improve their attention to detail towards sounds and make them focused on any task they do. Whether they use it to learn new instruments or simply bang it on the floor, kids are naturally inclined towards music, and playing with music is a habit that can be cultivated in children easily.
Benefits of Music
There are many benefits that a child acquires through music and one of them being early Brain development. According to research, children exposed to music from an early stage are more likely to have better reading and communication skills and language acquisition.
Playing musical instruments accelerates their brain development resulting in better performance in Math and other standardized tests. Their cognitive skills develop by learning to handle different types of instruments.
Children always need activities that boost their energies and playing musical instruments is a natural way to pep up the mood and build self-confidence.
Music has a huge effect on our emotions. Like sad songs make us cry and peppy songs lift the mood. When children get a liking for music from a young age, not only will kids learn to express themselves, but they will also learn to reach for music and take comfort in it during more difficult times. It's a great medium for a creative outlet to bring out talent and interest.
Many parents use music to calm down their children as it works amazingly to soothe a child. The easiest lullaby or just humming your child’s favorite song should do the trick. It also helps kids with special needs to communicate and connect easily. Musical instruments like the Maracas or the Castanets give a rich sensory experience for kids of all needs and could be great instruments for toddlers and preschoolers.
There are many sessions and educational methodologies that use music as a way to connect and reach people. Educational practices like Waldorf have music as an important element of their curriculum and they focus on introducing music step by step according to the age and grade of the child and slowly move to the next stage of music.
How to Encourage kids to practice music
Music brings rhythm, harmony, and the expression of a person to life and if mastered, this art could help kids achieve many milestones in life. Given the many benefits of music, it is one of the most convenient ways for us parents to help our children grow and attain a great level of musical and artistic talent.Here are some interesting ways to develop an interest in music for your child.
- Start with your kitchen. Gather all the vessels(preferably with no sharp edges) for the kid and let them have at it. Try to pick a time when the noise would not be bothered too much. Or, pick up something like a cardboard box or a tissue box for less noise. Your baby would definitely prefer the former.
- Start jamming during the normal household chores. The classic game of Antakshari never gets old. Start the game and give it a simple twist by adding nursery rhymes to make it more fun for the kids.
- Have an impromptu dance session with everyone’s favorite song loaded into the playlist. This will develop their creativity and perhaps your child may invent some new groovy steps to the beat.
- Get them musical instruments that are age-appropriate, yet fun. You could start with Indian musical instruments that are easily available like a Manjeera or a Damru or a Dholak and as they grow, you can go for string instruments. Harmonica, Flutes, and Maracas are instruments that can be given to toddlers and older kids. A Ukulele or a Piano are great options for kids when looking for professional training.
5. There is music for every expression, you can introduce songs and rhymes for your child to identify, emote and communicate their feelings.
6. If you find your kid interested in any particular musical field, try to nurture the talent by getting them into it professionally. With each level, you would find your child growing and developing their personality as a whole.The most common phrase children hear growing up in most educational institutions is to keep quiet and be seated in a place. While this might be necessary, kids should also be given the freedom and space to find their voice and express themselves.
Only when children speak their minds, and get an opportunity to sing and dance their hearts out, do they get to know their true potential and improve their love for learning.Music is a great platform for kids to achieve this and should be encouraged in every household for the overall well-being of the child.
I love the idea of starting with simple homemade instruments in the kitchen. It’s a fun and creative way to introduce kids to the joy of music!