Music to my ears : 10 Benefits of children’s musical instruments and musical playBy Renee Irving Lee and Ian Allan
Bang! Clink! Ding! Crash! Strum! Toot! Twang!
When it comes to musical instruments for kids, when children get their hands on an instrument, parents usually either reach for the ear plugs or cringe with fear. But did you know that experimenting with children’s musical instruments and musical play can help support children in all areas of development? Music has a profound effect on children and enables them to actively engage with the people and the environment around them. We hear music daily and experience it through culture, storytelling, communication and expressing of emotions.
The years from birth to 6 are the most crucial period for a child’s musical development. So next time you want to shut down the noise – here are 10 reasons why you should let them keep playing:
Children’s musical instruments are fun!
First and foremost, playing a children’s musical instrument is fun for them. They can bang, strum, play and most importantly, march to the beat of their own drum.
Music encourages creativity and imagination
By encouraging your child to play freely with children’s musical instruments, you are nurturing the development of their creativity and imagination. They can experiment with playing loud, soft, fast, or slow. Children’s musical instruments are open-ended toys that can be used in different ways each time your child uses them. They can create their own songs, sounds, stories, or dances.
Music encourages self-expression
Playing children’s musical instruments and listening to music can help children understand and express their emotions. Children can connect music with emotions and experiment with sounds and songs that make them feel happy, sad, scared, or angry.
Music helps with numeracy development
Surprisingly, there is more math involved in the musical process than most people think.
Children are exposed to counting and holding a steady beat, as well as hearing and repeating patterns and rhythms. It has been thought that Mozart himself used mathematical concepts to compose his world-famous symphonies.
Music helps with language development
Add songs to your musical play and watch your child’s language skills flourish. Singing helps improve language development through auditory discrimination, phonological awareness, vocabulary development and auditory memory.
Music helps with gross motor skills development and fine motor skills development
Playing music and dancing requires very complex gross motor skills and fine motor skills as well as co-ordination. Your child can explore a range of movements including strumming, gripping, beating and finger gesturing, which also assists in the development of hand – eye co-ordination.
Music encourages social skills development
Playing music as a family or with other children is a great way to develop social skills. Group musical play can encourage communication, turn taking, co-operation, collaboration, and problem-solving skills.
By experimenting with children’s musical instruments and Musical toys, children can explore a range of different sounds. They can begin to discriminate between the different sounds of percussion, woodwind, brass, string, or even home-made instruments.
Music can be a mood lifter and energy release
Children have a lot of pent up energy at the end of the day, and by banging away on some drums, strumming a guitar, or generally playing with some musical toy can help to release that energy and improve their mood. Do be aware, however that noise exceeding 85 decibels can be potentially harmful to young ears. See this blog post 5 Noise Sources that Could Damage your Child’s Hearing
MyScallywag’s range of children’s musical toys tend to make softer and more musical sounds
Music teaches cause-and-effect
When it comes to musical instruments for kids, experimenting with different instruments and Musical toys, helps children to understand the relationship between an action and its outcome (cause and effect). For example, your child hits the xylophone at one end and makes a high-pitched sound, then hits it at the other end and makes a low pitch sound. They also discover that when they hit it with their hand, it makes barely any sound at all. This is a great start to nurturing science related skills, including experimentation, exploration, predicting and observing.
So next time your child is pounding away on the drums or strumming like a maniac on the guitar, let those sweet sounds be music to your ears. Just think of how much they are learning, growing, and expressing!