Parenting Perspective: Importance of Music

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The other day Sienna started clapping. It was a very, very exciting moment... mostly because I was so excited to see her able to express her excitement! Then I noticed as she got better at it, she coordinated the clapping with music.

Although we try to play music for Sienna on a regular basis, I decided that we should try to incorporate even more into her playtime. Sienna has a little Baby Einstein piano but I bought her a few more instruments (non-electrical) so she could develop her musical skills even more. Sometimes, my husband will sit at the REAL piano with her and either play a song or let her bang on the keys for a while.

There doesn't always have to be a musical instrument or radio around for her to enjoy the benefits of music either. When we are in the car, on the way to the grocery store, I'll try to sing kids songs to her or even repeat the ABC song over and over. Yes, it gets repetitive, but she loves it... and the only way she will learn is through repetition.

There is very strong evidence that music, whether it's prenatally, in infancy or throughout childhood helps neurons in our brains form connections that may help us understand language. So, it's never too late to start with your little one. In fact, come hospitals play music for preemies in the neonatal intensive care unit. Some researchers have discovered it can help get them home faster by aiding in weight gain.

"There's an undeniable biology of music," says Harvard University medical neurobiologist Mark Tramo, M.D. "In our brains, millions of neurons form circuits, or networks, that are uniquely activated when we listen to music. These neurons are spread out in many regions of the brain, including the auditory centers in both the right and the left hemispheres. These circuits may also be involved in memory, attention, emotion, motor control, and language." There's no doubt that music is a workout for the gray paste between our ears.

Visit this site It goes on to explain an interesting study that was done in California with grade school kids.

Some parents may be hesitant to sing or introduce musical instruments especially if they are not musically inclined. But any expert will tell you, babies love hearing their parents singing voice, no matter how out of tune and certainly letting the baby have free reign over the keyboard or mini drums will excite any child. Just keep the earplugs in a nearby spot!

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