Why should your child join in with music-making? The benefits of music for development in early years.
At Boogie Mites, we are passionate about what music can do for your children. Not only will our original music and movement activities put a smile on their face, get their heart pumping, and help build their confidence; but also, music has been proven by research and scientific studies, as beneficial to every aspect of the government education standards in the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum (EYFS).
Your child’s nursery school will be aware of the benefits of music and will hopefully offer regular opportunities for involvement in active music-making, but to maximise the potential benefits to your child’s development – the more practise they get the better. So Boogie Mites encourage parents and carers to include music making in leisure and home-based activities as often as possible.
Here is a brief overview of how music practice benefits each of the seven areas of the EYFS curriculum.
Music supports personal, social and emotional development
Involvement in group music sessions with other parents and children supports the development of social skills, such as taking turns and co-operation. Involvement in music activities at home with parent/carer/siblings will support family bonding and mood.
Regular opportunities for a rich and varied music experience for children in early years, both in groups and at home, will build their confidence in many ways. It provides a great tool for encouraging self-expression and as an inclusive uplifting activity that can be accessed by all children, at whatever stage of development, it builds self-esteem.
Music supports communication & language
Music helps children to tune in – it activates all areas of the brain. Tuning children in is vital for learning. Once we have their attention, music can develop aural processing and the neural responses that are the basis for communication and understanding.
By tuning children into the rhythm of language, through music, from birth, we are helping them to hear the patterns of sounds that we know as words and phrases. Understanding and responding comes later with practise – repetition, repetition, repetition – a method most successful when brought home!
Music supports physical development
Music makes us move! And of course, our music and movement activities have a direct impact on physical development- they are energetic, some songs getting everyone on their feet, developing their gross motor skills as they explore the movement of their body, others using fine motor skills by handling instruments.
But these motor skills, their balance and their coordination are just the beginning. The songs can also teach children how to stay physically healthy in a fun and memorable way. Songs about nutrition- the importance of fruits and vegetables, brushing teeth, the health of the planet, self-care and exploring the outdoors can be found in our repertoire.
Music supports literacy
Strong phonological awareness in early years is widely recognised as important for a strong foundation for literacy. Research shows that children with the strongest phonological awareness when starting school are the strongest readers and writers by age 7.
The early years stage of the National Strategy for Literacy – Letters and Sounds Phase 1 – recognises the important part that music plays in strengthening phonological awareness, through musical sequencing of sounds and actions.
Music supports maths
Music – like maths – is built on sequences and patterns. Children will develop mathematical thinking as they take part and respond to these sequences and patterns – counting, keeping the beat and moving, playing with different rhythms. In action songs, we use positional language, such as ‘high’, ‘low’, ‘more than’, ‘less than’ which contribute to their understanding and communication of mathematical thinking. All of these skills will develop through regular music practice anytime, anywhere, with any props and home-made instruments.
Music supports knowledge & understanding of the world
Songs can cover a huge diversity of topics. Not only do these songs teach about all forms of life – from the bugs and worms in the garden to a frog’s life, or a fish’s journey in the sea…
But also other countries in the world – traditional music, how you might get there, the animals that you might find there, the way they look, or the noises they make. And research and experience tell us that if you want the message to stick – say it with music.
In the home, you can explore these themes through other activities alongside the song extending knowledge around the topic.
Music supports creativity
Children are inherently curious and imaginative – they are constantly exploring the world in which they live. Their creativity has a huge part to play in that… it is their interpretation of what they are experiencing! Whether through role-playing, creating their own actions, dancing, or even inserting their own lyrics into a song… however they respond to music, they are stretching and moulding their confidence and creativity.
This article was contributed by a MUSIC:ED advertising partner, Boogie Mites. Find out more about the company here.