Music is powerful in many different ways. From the way it makes us feel to its amazing benefits, where would we be without it? We don’t want to think about that at Rock and Roll Daycare. What we do want to think about is the amazing benefits music can have on our minds and soul, specifically what music can do to our children’s brains.
Let’s take a look at the effect music has on children’s brains. We’re convinced you’re going to be amazed.
Music and 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.
The good news doesn’t end there! 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. This is a great benefit that many kids can use.
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
There are also some cool things going on when it comes to music and memory. 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
Music also has spatial reasoning effects too! 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
When you’re talking about music and its impact on children’s brains, you have to look at children’s IQs. 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.
A 2014 study also 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 Social Development
While many parents like to focus on IQ and academics, music can also have an impact on social development. A study from the Florida International University’s Community Based Research Institute found that school music groups have a positive impact on the “5 C’s of social development”. These are competence, confidence, caring, character, and connection. After studying children learning music in an orchestra setting, they found that these children all showed an increase in all of the 5 C’s of social development.
Music and Multisensory Skills
Music can 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. Adults can certainly use these skills too!
Music and Babies
Babies can also get the benefits of music. 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.
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. Let the music play!
Music at Rock and Roll Daycare
At our Rock and Roll Daycare location in Central Square, children of all ages are getting all of these benefits and more! From our smallest babies to our busy six-year-olds, kids at the Central Square location are getting the gift of music every day. Our teachers and caregivers bring the gift of music every day with fun singalongs, instrument playing, listening games, and more.
While we’re busy bringing music into children’s lives at our center, we hope you’re continuing the fun at home. Comment below and let us know how music is playing a role in your children’s lives at home. We would love to hear from you!