Music and Brain Development
● By Digital Media Director
Fifteen years ago, the rage in child development was classical music. Exposing your child to the great classical composers was a sure way to enhance your child’s development and create a super genius. We would buy the Mozart CD’s and the videos and it was not unheard of to throw a pair of headphones right on your pregnant belly to be sure your baby had the best musical experience possible.
Time and research has changed the views on this theory a bit. Experts now say it’s not just the music itself, but the actual learning of music and instruments that actually affect brain development. Giving your child the chance to learn something like piano, for instance, will actually help the brain. The exact benefits range from stronger connections across the corpus callosum, which joins the two hemispheres of the brain, to enhancing the auditory systems and pathways. In easier terms, learning music and having music interaction creates connections with others, strengthens memory and reading skills, builds communication, provides superior multisensory skills and gives an overall feeling of joy.
Now you’re thinking “I have a 6-month-old, piano lessons may be out of the question.” You are right. Those little chubby hands are not yet suited for piano keys. They’re working on baby things, not Bach and Beethoven. At this point, you can be the tutor and teacher. Listen to music of all kinds, sing, shake rattles, drum, dance and make music an everyday thing in your life. The more you surround your child with music, the more they become aware of rhythm and sound, which is the basis for future music skills.
From there, when they’re ready, you can choose to explore other forms of music development. Music programs like band, orchestra, or choir in the school systems are great ways to get your child involved in music. It’s never too late to shake up that corpus callosum, or too early to create a lasting love of music.