“Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them — a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.” — Gerald Ford, former President, United States of America.
We all know how mothers rock and swing their babies and put them to sleep with those sweet humming of lullabies. What the mothers know instinctively, now the scientists have proven with different studies and research that music is the best vehicle for learning in the early years of life. Young children respond effectively to musical sounds and rhythmic movements. Dr Charles Eliot from Harvard University said that Music rightly is the best mind trainer. The power of music goes beyond the words can explain. Music builds the powerful bond between the parent and child which is created through the musical moments shared together through rhythm, movement, sensations and feelings. Children are connected to their roots, culture and tradition with this unique and powerful medium of music.
Early childhood development and education experts, psychologists and neuroscientists have stated that music not only offers joyful learning experience, but it also helps their brain cells to make the connections required for every kind of intelligence. It nurtures a child’s imagination and creativity.
Music influences all areas of development – social, emotional, intellectual, motor, language and overall learning processes. In fact, music helps to work mind and body together. Recent research also has discovered that music plays a significant role in cognitive development of young children.
Music builds self esteem and it also inspires self-expression, imagination, creativity and memorizing skills. Children in their early years use music to present ideas and build concepts. By singing, dancing and interacting together, social and emotional skills of young children are also improved. By this activity, children come to feel a part of the community. The more children are involved in a group, the more they learn from each other.
The rhythmic pattern of music fosters children’s ability to keep time and count the sequences, thus enabling their mathematical skills. Children move their bodies to music, dance, clap, stomp, learn to control their muscles, vocal chords and breathing, which leads to physical development. It improves their gross and fine motor skills.
The skills necessary for learning to read and write are developed through music. When we speak about early literacy, children gain comprehension skills, phonological processing and spoken language, which are the foundation of reading. The children with special needs are benefitted through various musical experiences as it is pleasurable to them and they feel more comfortable in a group. And above all, they acquire a life long love for music.
Keeping all these benefits in mind, the curriculum of the preschool should be designed in such a way that the child gets the exposure to age appropriate music practices so that he/she acquires these important skills which are learnt through group activities like rhymes, poems and conceptual songs.