Promoting Interest in Music Among Kids to Enhance Intelligence Levels
Introducing children to music early on in their lives has many benefits. Music soothes, calms, encourages and stimulates. Various studies conclude that musical training can affect brain development and its functioning and is linked to a boost in intelligence levels. In particular, interacting with a musical instrument helps in improving speech and reading skills among kids.
Ways to Encourage Music
There are several ways to introduce music to children as young as 18 months. What is important is to provide structured music activities. One is to play music to them. Singing songs with children or putting on their favorite tunes from a TV show encourages the little ones to appreciate music. It is also a great idea to use different types of soothing and calming music.
Experimenting with various sounds at home is another way of letting music become a part of their lives. Parents can use materials found at home such as pots and pans to allow kids to create their own sounds and rhythm.
Educational toys are also helpful tools in stimulating interest in music. For instance, interactive toys promote tactile and listening skills. Certain music apps that you can install on tablets or the computer also enable children to recognize tunes, melodies and rhythm.
At age 5, you can already enroll them to formal lessons depending on the instrument that is chosen. For example, guitar lessons are recommended from age 6 onwards or as soon as the child develops hand dexterity. As the child grows older, an instrument may be added or switched based on their interest.
Benefits of Music
Music primarily entertains and is a welcome distraction for kids. It is a mechanism where they can express how they feel whether they are singing to stuffed toys or playing an instrument. They learn motor skills and improve coordination by swaying to the beat or rhythm.
The benefits of music extend beyond entertainment or refinement of motor skills. Music helps children cope with distress or alleviate fears. There is even growing scientific evidence that shows music can assist in relieving pain or reducing stress (APA, 2013).
However, researchers argue that listening to music alone is not enough for a child to benefit fully from its effects. Engaging in music whether learning to play or fiddling with an instrument can help improve neural processing. It stimulates and rewires the brain.
Studies demonstrate that music training reinforces sensitivity to sound among children in addition to improving verbal and reasoning skills. Exposure to music is correlated to changes in motor and auditory changes (Miendlarzewska et al, 2014).
Several studies also show how music learning provides advantages to children such as better mathematical & verbal skills and higher IQ. They also reveal that the longer instruction takes place, the bigger the effects according to a report published in the Journal of Educational Psychology (Vol. 98, No. 2). In addition, there is strong evidence that suggests participating in musical activities throughout the life span can sustain cognitive functioning as one ages (Hanna-Pladdy and Mackay, 2011).
Overall, music is an important aspect of a child’s life. Whether parents are convinced of its benefits on a young person’s intelligence levels or not, there is no doubt that engaging in the kind of music that children love is a reward by itself.