If your child is around music a lot, we have some great news for you! The effect music can have on children’s brains is pretty impressive. You may be surprised what playing music for them and singing and clapping can do. If your child doesn’t have much music in their life, you’re going to want to feel the beat after learning what happens to a child’s brain when they’re around music.
Music and Brain Development
Let’s start with brain development. Research has shown that music training before the age of seven can change the brain’s structure and function. One study uncovered that the white matter in the corpus callosum can increase, which results in more brain connectivity.
Early music training can also increase the gray matter in the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that’s in charge of sensory and motor skills. The improved coordination can also help to control emotions. This can help to prevent kids from overreacting and help them handle frustration better. Other findings discovered that musical training can increase the blood flow in the left side of the brain which can help them process language better.
There is also research to indicate that music training can help children’s auditory systems mature faster compared with children who don’t have music training. This could accelerate their development of language and reading, as well as in other areas.
Music and Memory
Music also does some cool things when it comes to children’s memory functions. Research from the Institute for Music and the Mind at McMaster University in Ontario indicates that musical training can modify the brain’s auditory cortex. Laurel Trainor, director of the Institute, suggests that since playing music with others requires a lot of attention and memory, it may lead to an even greater effect on memory.
Music and Spatial Reasoning
Engaging young children in music classes can help with their spatial and temporal reasoning skills. Research by psychologist Dr. Frances Rauscher and neuroscientist Gordon Shaw discovered that children who took music lessons did better on those types of tasks compared with kids who took computer lessons. Classical music has been found to be especially helpful when it comes to spatial reasoning in children. This may be because classical music is more mathematical and more complex than other types of music.
Besides listening to music, learning to play music can also have an impact on spatial reasoning. Researchers found that children who took piano lessons for six months improved their ability to finish puzzles and do other spatial tasks by as much as 30%. Many believe that musical instructions make new pathways in the brain that help with these types of tasks.
Music and IQ
We also have to take a look at the impact music can have on a child’s IQ. In a 2006 study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, researchers found that music lessons seemed to improve a child’s IQ and academic performance. They also uncovered that the longer the children study music, the more of a positive effect it has on them. So keep learning that music!
Music and Multisensory Skills
Music can also impact multisensory skills because it requires children to process sights, sounds, and touch simultaneously. This can help children multitask when they are faced with different sounds and images at the same time.
Strengthening the Brain’s Executive Functions
A 2014 study found that learning a musical instrument improves and strengthens the brain’s executive functions. The brain’s executive functions cover things like problem-solving, controlling behavior, and making good choices. These are all skills that can help kids as they grow up.
Music and Babies
At Rock and Roll Daycare, we love that babies can also get all of the benefits of music too. A study at McMaster University found that babies who were part of an interactive music class had better communication skills and smiled more! Many people believe that exposing babies to some form of music at a young age leads to happier babies. We can all get on board with that!
There’s also research that shows that after babies listen to music, their auditory and prefrontal cortexes look different. These are the parts of the brain in charge of processing music and speech.
Music at Rock and Roll Daycare
The music is also playing at the Rock and Roll Daycare location at Broadway. We play music, sing with the children, and introduce them to instruments. There’s always something musical and fun going on at our center!
From our smallest babies to our busy six-year-olds, kids at the Broadway location are getting the gift of music every day. While we’re busy bringing music into children’s lives when they’re with us, we hope you’re continuing the fun at home. This can really help them to get the benefits they need! Comment below and let us know how music is playing a role in your children’s lives at home.