Children need to listen to Music Now more than ever.
Music: When COVID-19 forced schools to close, Susan Darrow became concerned with learning music.
“Many schools today still approach music and the arts in general as an extra,” explains the director of the Music Together early childhood program. “It is usually the first activity that is cut”. So when Darrow began receiving inquiries from parents and schools, she was thrilled to move her educational programs online. Especially since she firmly believes that children need music now more than ever.
Music Relieves Stress:
“Music naturally helps us relieve stress,” he explains. “Think for example what happens when we sing a song in the car or dance in the kitchen. We immediately feel better! This happens because when we sing and dance, the “hormones of happiness” are released, and the music allows us to feel connected to others. And these are all things we really need now ”
Although live music lessons, rehearsals with bands, and choral groups have been canceled or limited due to the closures related to the pandemic. Parents can still include music in their children’s daily routine. These small and easy ideas can generate big benefits.
We are musical Creatures:
After all, we are musical creatures. “Making music is one of the rare activities in every culture, region, and population that history remembers,” says Darrow. “This allows us to understand that being musical is an integral part of the human being”.
Indeed, some studies show that music is exploited for similar reasons in different cultures around the world. We use it to calm children, to dance, to heal, and also to express love. One study found that Canadians are able to accurately identify the sadness, joy and anger contained in classic Indian ragas. Which makes us think that music is a kind of language that can transcend.
Music and Evolution:
From an evolutionary point of view, the first human beings used music as a connection activity capable of promoting social cohesion. The kind of group cooperation that has allowed us to survive and thrive as a species. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that we are “programmed” to respond to musical stimuli.
Music and mental wellbeing:
But music produces benefits that go beyond social connection – it also affects us on a biological level.
For example, engaging in enjoyable musical activities releases strengthening and feel-good hormones such as endorphins and dopamine. This could explain why adults who move in sync with music report that they appreciate and trust each other more. In studies of preterm infants undergoing intensive care, listening to music has been found to help stabilize their heart and respiratory rates. In addition, people who participated in music therapy with authorized professionals showed an improvement in mood and concentration. As well as a reduction in pain, anxiety, fatigue, and cortisol, the stress hormone – without the help of drugs.
Learning to play an Instrument:
In children, learning to play a musical instrument is associated with better organization and development of the areas of the brain responsible for thinking, memory and emotional regulation. M also of motor coordination. “Learning music supports every other learning,” says Darrow. “There is hardly anything else that can illuminate some spheres of the brain in the same way that music can.” Here are some tips if you re planning to buy musical Instrument
These benefits are not limited solely to educational settings. Research shows that simply listening to music makes both hemispheres of the brain operational. Not only that, it also activates the body’s reward system and facilitates brain development.
Create a musical “core”:
Think about including music in your child’s daily life as an integral part of a beneficial action that can promote resilience, at a time when children are experiencing significant levels of stress. “What happens if music, exercise, nutrition, healthy sleep, and breathing techniques are prescribed?” says James, professor of psychiatry, pediatrics and medicine at the University of Vermont. “Instead of influencing the brain with negative stimuli, we can influence it with positive stimuli.”
And, whether your kids have taken live lessons or are just starting their musical journey now, Darrow says the most important teachers are almost always mom and dad. “Let your child listen to you and watch you sing, let him see you dance,” explains Darrow.
Parents and Music:
Parents should make music a natural everyday habit. “I know families who have regular ‘dance’ meetings every night after dinner. You just need to put on some music, and let everyone go wild in the lounge. Do impromptu sessions in the kitchen with pots, pans and spatulas. Establish an evening singing ritual to get your baby to sleep. “
And for those parents who aren’t particularly into music, Darrow has good news. “It doesn’t matter how well you do it. As a parent, if you don’t know how to sing in tune or keep time, know that in any case your child will not learn from you how to sing, but will learn from you to love singing ”.
Music every day:
Scientist encourages families to take a few minutes every day to enjoy music, whether it’s practicing with an instrument or watching a live stream. It can also be just listening to music and following the rhythm with one foot, singing a song together or moving in time. James also recommends these Vermont Center for Children, Youth, and Families musical engagement activities.
Introduce children to different genres, and practice conscious listening so that children pay attention to the music without having other distractions. Numerous online resources can also help. The Metropolitan Opera House offers free streams of opera, the Berliner Philharmoniker have a free digital playlist, and full episodes of the children’s musical series Mister Chris and Friends are on PBS.
Music as a fun activity:
It is to make sure kids don’t feel compelled to perform professionally – make it a fun activity. We have made music training a joy, a benefit. It’s called incentive-based behavior training” and can take advantage of techniques such as rewarding an hour of practice or musical effort with extra time to play a video game. This not only reinforces positive behavior but can also lead children to engage in beneficial activities on their own. Because those same activities already guarantee an intrinsic reward in themselves.
“Without music, exercise, breathing, and a good sleep-wake rhythm, we are concretely contributing to emotional problems and poor school marks. There is no greater joy than bringing music to someone and seeing how it changes their life “.