Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Importance of Music

Music and singing are some of the early literacy practices that we promote at the library in our storytimes and when talking with parents. Music can be pleasant, catchy, and nearly universal in its appeal; children almost always respond in one way or another when they hear it. Lyrics are usually fairly easy to follow, and repetition is always helpful in reinforcing sounds and words. Music also helps develop rhythm and coordination, while fostering creativity and giving children a context in which to express themselves.

We may never really know what’s going on inside the minds of babies and young children when they hear a lullaby or a lively make-you-want-to-move song, but researchers are finding a biological connection between music and the development of the brain. Specifically, there are signs that listening to music regularly can accelerate the speed and efficiency with which the brain processes sounds, language, and speech, the basic building blocks that form the core of solid reading skills. It appears that there is a special brain function designed to deal just with processing music, and there is some evidence that the auditory pathways of both children and adults who listen to music mature more quickly than those of people who don’t. In fact, there are even some researchers who believe that, without the ability to hear language musically, it would be very difficult to learn to speak.

So do your children (and yourself) a favor. Listen to music whenever you can. Sing and dance to your heart’s content, just for the joy of it. It’s good for your brain!

Guest post by Bridget W. 

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