Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers love music and singing, and for nearly 30 years, Mini Maestros has been helping little ones to develop, grow and explore the world around them through music and movement. But it’s not all about the music.
Sit in on a session of Australias leading music education program, Mini Maestros, and you’ll quickly see that this is much more than just a musical experience. Singing, movement activities, playing percussion instruments, dances and dramatic play actions mean that children learn and develop a range of skills for their whole development.
The program has been designed and fine-tuned over many years of trial and research by early childhood music education experts. Each program is age-specific, so children take part in classes specially designed to suit their developmental stage from bubs aged just six months right up to preschoolers aged five.
Music and Skill Development
Learning music cultivates many abilities that will continue to be useful to your kids throughout their lives. The following are some of the skills that listening to music and taking music lessons help develop in children:
Learning a musical instrument will help your child acquire concentration, as they must focus on a particular activity over extended periods of time. Developing concentration in this way also will help them when they need to focus their attention on other subjects at school.
Music and math are highly intertwined. By understanding beat, rhythm, and scales, kids are learning how to divide, create fractions, and recognize patterns. It seems that music wires a child’s brain to help him better understand other areas of mathematics. As kids get older, they’ll start reciting songs, calling on their short-term memory and eventually their long-term memory.
Using a mnemonic device to do this is a method that can later be applied to other memory skills. Musical instrument classes also introduce young children to basic physics. For instance, plucking the strings on a guitar or violin teaches kids about harmonic and sympathetic vibrations. Even non-string instruments, such as drums and the vibraphone, give big children the opportunity to explore these scientific principles.
Practicing musical instruments enhances hand-eye coordination. Kids develop important motor skills when playing music just as they do when playing different sports.
When you look at children ages two to nine, one of the breakthroughs in that area is music benefit for language development, which is so important at that stage. While kids come into the world ready to decode sounds and words, music education helps enhance those natural abilities. Growing up in a musically rich environment is often advantageous for children’s language development. Those inborn capacities need to be reinforced, practiced, celebrated, which can be done at home or in a more formal music education setting.
Music Educates Social Skills
Group classes require peer interaction and communication, which encourage teamwork, as kids must collaborate to create a crescendo or an accelerando. If a child is playing his instrument too loudly or speeding up too quickly, he’ll need to adjust. It’s important for children to know and understand their individual part in a larger ensemble. Music Rhapsody offers general music education courses, in which teachers split students into groups and assign each child a task. Whether a team is responsible for choosing instruments or creating a melody, students work toward a common goal. These are the kinds of experiences we have in society.
The Brain Works Harder
Research indicates the brain of a musician, even a young one, works differently than that of a nonmusician. There’s some good neuroscience research that kids involved in music have bigger growth of neural activity than people not in music training. When you’re a musician and you’re playing an instrument, you have to be using more of your brain.
Growing up with Music
Music can improve your child abilities in learning and other nonmusic tasks, but it’s important to understand that music does not make one smarter. As Pruett explains, the many intrinsic benefits to music education include being disciplined, learning a skill, being part of the music world, managing performance, being part of something you can be proud of, and even struggling with a less than perfect teacher.
It turns out that playing a musical instrument is important, differentiating her group’s findings from the now- debunked myth that just listening to certain types of music improves intelligence, the so-called “Mozart effect”. We don’t see these kinds of biological changes in people who are just listening to music, who are not playing an instrument. It is crucial that you engage with the sound in order to reap the advantages and see changes in the central nervous system.
With that in mind, it’s not too late to trade in those Minecraft Legos, Frozen paraphernalia, XBox games, and GoldieBlox presents that you may have purchased, and swap them out for music lessons for the kids in your life.