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10 Reasons Why Children LOVE Music: The Powerful Impact on Young Minds

Updated: Apr 23


children playing musical instruments in a group with smiling teacher

As an adult, you have felt the power of music, in obvious and subtle ways. What you might not know is that music has been an intrinsic part of your life, every day, for as long as you’ve been alive! How? Well, it started in the womb! You’ve been hearing and feeling music since you had eardrums and so has your child!  


Music is in something as simple as the hum of a mother’s voice in the developing ears of a fetus to the sound of a brook trickling through a forest. To some it is most appreciated in a classical piano piece, for others in a Taylor Swift breakup song. As adults, we might not purposefully include music in our day but, as caregivers, we have new ears to guide and little minds to develop, and music helps us accomplish that in really special ways. Here are 10 reasons children LOVE (and need!) music in their lives!


Contents:

Ten Reasons Why Children Love Music:


1. Brain Development

Music has a remarkable effect on brain development in young children. Research suggests that exposure to music from an early age can stimulate neural pathways, leading to enhanced cognitive abilities such as memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. By engaging in musical activities, children's brains are exercised and strengthened, laying a solid foundation for lifelong learning.


Playing a musical instrument engages practically every area of the brain at once, especially the visual, auditory, and motor cortices. As with any other workout, disciplined, structured practice in playing music strengthens those brain functions, allowing us to apply that strength to other activities.

This quote comes from this in-depth TED-Ed video that explains the power of music in our brains.



Of course, with very young children, overly structured music lessons aren’t age appropriate, so joining group lessons like Making Music Academy’s Ages 0-5 classes is an excellent way to introduce music as an enjoyable learning and development activity.


2. Language Skills

Listening to and participating in music can significantly improve language development in young children. The rhythmic patterns and lyrical structures found in music mirror those of language, helping children recognize sounds, words, and phrases more effectively. Singing along to songs and rhymes also enhances vocabulary acquisition and pronunciation, making language learning a fun and engaging experience.


Have you ever noticed your child humming or “singing” a song before they can create clear sentences? This is the power of music at work, creating recognizable patterns of words and sounds in your child’s brain, memories being stored, helping them develop communication skills. You can help them with this by singing simple songs while you go about your day - like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” as you change their diaper, or “Itsy Bitsy Spider” as you feed them dinner, following or creating movements to go along with it. They’ll soon be singing their versions back to you with their best attempts at making itsy bitsy spiders with their super cute little fingers.


3. Communication Skills

Music not only helps children learn words and how to talk, it helps children and their caregivers communicate without words! Test this by singing to your child right now! Any song will do, but a favourite, Skidamarink, never fails to get everyone smiling and feeling the love! It’s not just the words (which mean something to the parent but don’t yet mean anything to a baby!), it’s the emotion and expressions behind them that the child is responding to. 


Share your favourite songs with your children - music is powerful!


4. Emotional Regulation

For young children, expressing and understanding emotions can be challenging, but music provides a safe and creative outlet for them to explore their feelings. Whether it's through dancing to an upbeat tune or listening to a soothing melody, music helps children regulate their emotions and develop a sense of emotional intelligence.


Music helps children learn about their feelings and how to express them in healthy, clear ways. There are songs written especially for helping children understand what their feelings are, what they feel like, and how to work through them, just like this feelings song!


5. Motor Skills

Engaging with musical instruments and rhythmic movements promotes the development of fine and gross motor skills in young children. Whether they're tapping drumsticks on a drum, plucking strings on a guitar, or swaying to the beat, children's coordination and control improve with each musical interaction. Activities like dancing and playing instruments not only strengthen muscles but also enhance spatial awareness and balance.  Try “One Little Finger together and watch your child practice movement and learn names of body parts!


6. Creativity

Music ignites the spark of creativity in young minds, encouraging them to explore, experiment, and express themselves in imaginative ways. Whether they're composing their own melodies, improvising on instruments, or creating choreographed dances, children's creativity flourishes in the world of music. 


Ways to help your child explore music creatively could be including sensory play into their musical experience. Things like sensory scarves, shakers, and themed toys mixed with a fun improvised dance with you help guide children in creativity.  It’s exciting to see what your child comes up with as they explore their own musical expression.


7. Family and Social Bonds

Historically and culturally, music is weaved into who we are as humans and a society. It tells stories, conveys important messages, and ignites the imagination. Best of all, it bonds people together in a really unique way.


Music is something you can do together, no matter what your musical ability is. Singing tone-deaf is better than not singing at all (honestly, your kids won’t care what you sound like!). Shaking maracas with no rhythm is better than not shaking them at all. A squealing recorder, while not entirely pleasant, is a beautiful sound when you see it as an important moment to connect with your child. Grab your tambourine, it’s time to make some music with your littles! Have a little jam sesh together; laugh and create memories around music and movement, even if it sounds like a whole band and their instruments fell down the stairs! You and your child can build bonds around music, no matter what it actually sounds like. 


In our group music sessions, building social bonds looks like children learning to collaborate, communicate, and cooperate with their peers. Community is important and a musical one is an excellent place to connect in and enjoy together.


When singing together, playing instruments together, and engaging in active musical play, children develop important social skills that lay the foundation for healthy relationships. As caregivers, we’re along for the ride, learning and growing and benefiting with them.


8. Stress Relief and Relaxation

According to Mayo Clinic, music as therapy can:


  1. Decrease anxiety

  2. Decrease blood pressure

  3. Decrease pain symptoms

  4. Elevate mood

  5. Improve quality of life

  6. Slow heart rate


That’s pretty amazing, right?  Music can be absolutely free and has massive positive impacts as an integration into your and your child’s daily routines.


Here are some examples of how you can include music into your day to help you and your child with stress or tense moments:


  1. Play a song about feelings when there’s a big feeling moment. Let the music guide the expression of feelings and have a chat about it after the song is finished. Play the song as many times as it takes!

  2. Sing to your child as you get them ready to go out.  This is especially helpful for the toddler stage as they gain their independence where getting ready and doing simple tasks can suddenly become a challenge. Sing a narrative of what you’re doing to any tune you know or just make one up as you go: “I’m putting your socks on”, “zip up your coat!” This helps take away some of the negative energy from the caregiver and from the child and helps them work together to the music.

  3. Turn on some quiet, soothing music in the background to encourage a calmer mood in the home, especially when you’re having a hard day. This encourages you as the caregiver to release tension and helps the child settle into a calmer mood. 

  4. Have a dance party with some upbeat music to any song! This helps get blood flowing in the body for a mood boost and mental clarity. Everyone feels a little more receptive when the cortisol in their body is released. 


At Making Music Academy, we teach parents and children songs and musical activities to practice at home that help them work together. 


9. Foundation for Lifelong Learning

Music lays the foundation for lifelong learning and personal growth. The skills and qualities cultivated through musical experiences – creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and resilience – serve children well in all areas of their lives. By nurturing a love for music from an early age, Making Music Academy equips children with the tools they need to thrive throughout their lives.  


Children’s music-based YouTube channels are also an excellent resource to encourage learning around music. Our very own Ms. Terrilyn has a YouTube channel right here!


10. Exercise!

Children need physical activity to thrive and music helps children move and have fun, encouraging overall health.  A good ol’ round of “Shake Your Sillies Out” by Raffi is bound to help channel excess energy in a healthy direction or liven the mood if they’re having a down day. Sometimes a before-bed wiggle session is just what they need to have a solid night’s sleep, proof of a well-spent day.



For children who aren’t as active, music encourages them to move without realizing it - because it’s fun!  For toddlers, this could look like turning on some high-energy music and dancing around the house together (yes, you too!) or letting Danny Go! guide some imaginative dance moves and play. Not all of us are dance pros, so videos like this one by DJ Raphi make it easier to learn how to dance.


Conclusion

Whether engaging with music and your children at home or in Making Music Academy sessions, including music in your daily activities is doing them (and you!) a massive favour!


Music has the ability to make people (of all ages) more regulated, more connected, and healthier - mentally and physically.  


Because of this, music is our passion.  Making Music Academy is here for you to help you through free resources (like this blog) and budget-friendly group sessions for you and your littles to grow and learn musically with us.  Our innovative approach and commitment to family-oriented learning plays a pivotal role in nurturing the innate love that children have for music. Our little students reap the numerous cognitive, emotional, and social benefits that will shape their lives for years to come - and because they attend with their caregivers, they share memories that last a lifetime.

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