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Early music classes can benefit your baby’s brain development

submitted by Marilyn Schwartz, Kids’ Music Round with Miss Marilyn, www.missmarilynkmr.com  

Did you know that your child’s brain is pre-wired to learn music, just as it’s pre-wired to learn language? According to Daniel Levitan, author of “This is Your Brain on Music,” babies babble musically, just as they babble sounds before they learn to speak.

In addition, researchers at McMaster University discovered that early musical training benefits children in many ways before they have learned to walk and talk.

Their study involved a group of babies interacting with their parents or caregivers by singing, dancing and playing percussion vs. a group that played passively while “Baby Einstein” recordings played in the background.

The results were clear; “one year old babies who participated in the interactive music classes smile more, communicate better and showed earlier and more sophisticated brain responses to music.”  (Dr. Laurel Trainor, Director of the McMaster Institute for Music and Mind in Hamilton, Ontario.)

There are many benefits to providing your little ones with interactive music class. They include:

*Early Language Development  – stimulating use of vocal cords, breath and facial expressions;

*Detecting Patterns – repetition of rhythm, melodies and lyrics;

*Active Listening – learning how to “tune in” and anticipate what’s next through associations;

*Motor Coordination – learning how to dance, play instruments;

*Social/Emotional Bonding – interacting with parents in a different way that’s fun and enjoyable for both.

There are additional benefits for children with developmental disorders and autism.

The benefits for special needs children are both cognitive and social.  Studies have shown that during play sessions with music, children with autism showed more social engagement with their peers than in those without music.

Children also showed greater ability to follow directions, share and take turns.

On a cognitive level, learning music routines with regular repetition helped improve a child’s attention span and memory.