What Can You Do as a TEACHer?
Since beginning Rock Me Baby Records (10 children’s music CDs, 1 DVD, 1 app and three children of her own later), Susie has given much attention to the impact music has on children. The benefits vary from simple and pure enjoyment to the more complex “Mozart Effect” that music appears to have on intelligence and learning. Among the many rewards that music offers children, there are four that have special meaning to Susie and Rock Me Baby Records:
Music helps build self-esteem and self confidence
Music and singing is a non-competitive activity that can be done alone or in groups and in which everyone can participate. This gives children an activity that can grow their self-esteem and self confidence.
Music promotes communication, community, and culture through participation. Music and singing allows an opportunity to bond with children; giving you a repertoire of songs and musical activities that you and your pupils can share. Entire classes can participate and that music can become the soundtrack of your pupils' school life.
Music engages all parts of the brain… and even the body. Music participation encourages creativity and coordination, while listening requires attention and analysis. With music, children begin to learn language, counting, reading, and memorization. Engaging in musical movement – rocking, bouncing, dancing and otherwise moving to the music – gets children moving.
Music and singing just makes you feel good! Music has the power to calm and heal, and be fun and joyful.
Music has the power to calm and heal the youngest of babies. For example, music has worked in therapies to help premature babies in their incubators, lowering heart rate and blood pressure and reducing the signs of distress they exhibit. Babies appear to love the patterns and rhythms of songs. Even the youngest babies can recognize specific melodies once they’ve heard them. As babies grow up, setting words to music actually helps the brain learn them more quickly and retain them for longer. That’s why as adults we remember the lyrics of songs we sang as young children, even if we haven’t heard the songs in years.
There are myriad studies available to support more formal theories that music has great benefits for children. For instance, the “Mozart Effect" touts the observation that study participants improve spatial temporal efficiency after listening to one of Mozart’s sonatas. Spatial-temporal agility is related to mathematical ability and aptitude. Apparently, listening to the complex musical structure of classical music “turns on” the spatial pathways of the brain, priming it to solve spatial and relational problems more efficiently. In other words, music primes the brain to learn. At a more basic level, listening to music can have positive effects on our moods that simply make learning easier.