Music and Brain Development

We all like music, but why are very young children so drawn to it? As researchers continue to explore this question, we have some hints. 

Listening and moving to music seems to support several important avenues of development:

Music Lessons and Language – Studies have demonstrated a link, in older children, between formal music lessons and increased abilities in language, math and spatial understanding.

For example, researchers have found that children ages 6 and older who take music lessons are better able to recall words. The longer their musical training, the more words they could recall.

Yet they can’t recall visual images better than other children, leading researchers to suggest that learning music stimulates the part of the brain responsible for verbal memory and language skills. Listening to music and singing along, therefore, may well encourage toddlers’ language skills.

The Roots of Rhythm – Researchers have also found that babies who bounced on an adult’s knee to the rhythm of a nursery rhyme or song grow up to have a better sense of rhythm. They even tend to be better dancers!

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