early years music

Raise your child’s intellectual capacity with music education

A useful summary article about the benefits of music education, particularly for babies, toddlers and younger children, outlining the following benefits and referencing the research:

  • Musical development – Your child’s aptitude for learning music is at its strongest from birth to 18 months. Children learn more in this critical 18-month period than in any other 18-month period in their life. The second most important time for musical development in one’s entire life is from 18 months to 5 years old.
  • Intellectual development – Music is the only activity or subject matter that actively engages both hemispheres of the brain at the same time. Those who begin studying music before the age of 7 and continue through the teenage years will have an average IQ score of 7.5 points higher than those who don’t study music.
  • Language development – Music education advances the early development of the auditory processing network in the brain. This is the network used to make meaning of sounds and learn spoken language. Songs introduce new vocabulary words in rapid succession and in turn significantly boost a child’s working vocabulary.
  • Literacy development – Literacy levels have been shown to improve by between one and three grade levels with consistent music education beginning from birth with activities as simple as singing, musical games, listening to music, repeating rhythmical or tonal patterns, and learning an instrument at age 5-7.
  • Imagination – Life without music would be bleak. Music opens up an entirely new world to a child. It enables a child to gain insights into himself/herself, others and most importantly life itself. These insights help to develop and sustain a child’s imaginative creativity. Because a child hears and participates in some music every single day, it is to a child’s advantage to understand music as thoroughly as possible.

The writer Kathryn Brunner, has been a music educator for 17 years in the USA, and is also a parent and music business owner.


Truro Preschool and Kindergarten: http://truropreschool.org/2017/02/24/raising-your-childs-intellectual-capacity-with-early-music-education/

How music helps your child’s brain grow

Kinderling radioKinderling Radio in Australia spoke to Anita Collins, Professor in Neuroscience and Child Education at the University of Canberra, recently, about how music can help your child’s brain grow from the very beginning.

During the interview, Professor Collins talks about a baby’s Music Processing Network which starts working from the very beginning of a child’s life. Babies don’t understand any language during their very early years, but their Music Processing Network is working overtime to gain meaning from language, even before they have learned and understood the language.

Professor Collins suggests exposing children to a wide variety of music between the ages of 0-7 years-old to help their brains grow. She says, that just as a varied diet is good for our bodies, so a varied diet of music is good for our brains.

She goes on to say that playing music – with any instrument which makes a musical sound – helps a child to develop its brain network in order to later understand language, science, etc.. There is plenty of research available, she says, to prove that when a child engages in ongoing music education it improves their abilities in so many other areas of life, and that every child – not just the most gifted – can benefit. Put simply, playing a musical instrument ‘supercharges’ the brain’s learning.

Kinderling Radio also talks to Kaija Upenieks, a music teacher at a local daycare centre in Waverley, Sydney, about how she teaches rhythm via a variety of instruments, and the difference it makes to the children.

[Interview length: 12m 03s]

Kinderling Radio: https://www.kinderling.com.au/kinderling-conversation/how-music-helps-your-child-s-brain-grow

Jamming with toddlers trumps getting stuck in a book

Early years music - university of queenslandPlaying music with toddlers could benefit their development even more than shared reading, and helps get them ready for school, according to University of Queensland research. Their recent study has shown that music participation at home improves numeracy, prosocial skills and attention over and above the effects of shared book reading.

One of the study leaders and Head of UQ’s School of Music Professor Margaret Barrett said parents were asked to report on shared music activities when their child was two to three years old and a range of social, emotional and cognitive outcomes were measured two years later, when the child was four or five. “The study highlights that informal music education in early childhood is a vital tool for supporting the cognitive and social development of children,” said Professor Barrett.

The study is part of an Australian Research Council funded study ‘Being and becoming musical: towards a cultural ecological model of early musical development’. It aims to provide a comprehensive account of how Australian families use music in their parenting practices and make recommendations for policy and practice in childcare and early learning and development.

University of Queensland: https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2015/09/jamming-toddlers-trumps-hitting-books


DATE: 2015