It’s a delight to watch a child’s eyes light up when their favorite song is played. We know they’re loving the beat and swaying to the rhythm, but in the background, it’s also helping with their overall development. We’ve already talked about how music can help children in the previous article, but I want to dig deeper into the subject.
Music plays a different role for children at different ages. All types of music are different, and not all genres have the same effect. Children have a more sophisticated senses of music and rhythm than we can imagine.
So, it is the best to know which type of music is the best for their development. Make some conscious efforts to ensure that they’re getting exposed to the right kind of melodies in life.
How Does Music Affect Children of Different Age Groups?
Music helps in building specific skills at different age groups. You’ll see that a two-year-old child’s preference also will often differ greatly compared to teenagers. Let’s trace how babies start responding to music from the time they are born till the time they turn five years old.
- Birth to 4 months: Even a newborn baby responds to external musical stimuli. If you play a soothing tune, the baby is likely to become relaxed and quiet. Lively tunes may make the baby a little more active.
- 4 to 8 months: The baby starts to intently follow different types of sounds in the environment. The baby is likely to turn their head to the side from where a song is being played.
- 10 to 18 months: Musical preferences start to surface at this stage. Babies will clap or show enthusiasm when a familiar and likeable tune is being played.Many babies prefer vocals to instrumental music at this stage.
- 18 months to 2 years: The child is just beginning to explore different musical sounds around in the environment. Music on radios, TV commercials, live music – all of it is a stimulus for the baby which it finds fascinating.
- 2 to 3 years: As the baby gets more familiar with sounds, he/she will try to respond to it by bending knees or trying to dance. During this period, it is advisable to introduce babies to musical games and nursery rhymes.
- 3.5 years to 4 years: The child’s awareness about music increases significantly during this period. The child will try to interpret music in different ways and it starts to become a tool for communication and expression.
- 4 years to 5 years: During this stage, children are able to discuss music more eloquently. If encouraged well at this stage, a child’s understanding about music can increase as well.
So, by the age of five, if you enroll them up to learn a musical instrument, it could get them interested in the field. Along with it, it’ll also help develop their sensory systems, and help them express themselves more freely.
What Kind Of Music Should Children Listen To?
Music is a universal language that can heal us all. But if you’re looking to use it as a development tool for your kids, know that different music genres can impact us differently. Parenting styles can sometimes lead children to listen to sleazy and vulgar lyrics gaining popularity all across the world. You don’t want your kids to be influenced by it.
Bollywood numbers are all around us, but I would advise against adding any of those songs to your child’s music library. Instead, expose them to classical music. Nursery rhymes and lullabies are the norm, but you need to look beyond that to help your child’s overall personality development as well.
Load up on music CDs that have pieces by Mozart, Beethovan, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Zakir Hussain.
Classical music is known to be calming and soothing. It won’t rile your kid up or get them to be hyperactive. It provides a form of entertainment that is low on stimulus, yet creates a happy atmosphere.
Peppy rhymes and folk music are also a great options. You’ll notice that your children may become slightly more energetic than before, and overall it creates a happy zone for them.
Any song or instrumental tunes can work, as long as it doesn’t have too many loud beats. You don’t want to annoy them up with heavy drumming and put them in an irritable mood. Reserve your heavy metal playlist for your own leisurely time.
Also, try to expose your children to music from other cultures. You know why I am saying that. If you don’t, go back to point 5 in the article!
I hope great melodies fill your week up until I get back to you with another interesting article on
How has music helped you and your children in your everyday lives? Do share your experiences in the comments section below.