5 Reasons Why a Preschool Music Program Is a Must!

5 Reasons Why a Preschool Music Program Is a Must!

"By the age of five, infants have learned to recognize chord progressions in the music of their culture – they are forming schemas." [1]

Recent studies on music education continue to elaborate on the ways in which infants and children under the age of six learn and absorb music. A number of case studies have shown that the learning process with music actually begins soon after birth, which reinforces the effectiveness and necessity for early childhood music development programs. The question for many parents becomes – what's the best strategy for getting my child a head start with music? And how do I get my child exposure to music without feeling like I'm "pushing her into it?" The following are several ways you can help your child to develop a natural and organic interest in music, which will also serve as preparation for formal music lessons later on in life.

Introduce Your Child To Music When She Is Most Able To Learn

"The auditory system of the fetus is fully functional about twenty weeks after conception". [2]

The time to start thinking about your child's musical development is at birth. In fact, the most critical time in a child's musical development is from birth to age five. Scientific research has shown that parts of the brain that are not stimulated in the earliest years of life will lose their full potential. This "use it or lose it" concept applies to your child's music aptitude. Don't miss your child's best opportunity to learn.

Give Your Child Exposure to Music Without Pushing Her Into It

Early childhood development programs now include worthwhile classes for toddlers and infants. Parents may be reluctant to get involved in these programs because of a fear of pressuring or pushing their kids into music too soon. The quality programs however, emphasize learning through "informal" play with music. These classes generally encourage the child to express themselves however they wish, and children are never pressured or judged in these classes. While the curriculum for these classes is highly developed, each class allows the child to have their own interpretation and responses to the music. Classes are designed to encourage and inspire playing and having fun with music and song; instructors never judge or discourage participants.

Enroll your child in a weekly pre-school music program.

The best way to develop a love for music is to join a class led by dedicated professional music educators. Children are introduced to a wide variety of musical scales, tonal and rhythm patterns and instruments that help to stimulate your child's musical growth. In addition to the sheer joy that these classes provide, the benefits of playing music, singing along, and informal play create an early love for music in a young child. These programs will help accelerate the learning process for a child once they are old enough to begin private music instruction. Quality pre-school music programs should include three primary things:

(1) Exposure to new melodies and rhythms; this develops and enhances a child's listening skills.

(2) Teaching the child to recognize tonal patterns and sing simple melodies

(3) Teaching the child perform basic rhythms

Preschool Music

Play Music At Home And In The Car For Your Child, And Sing Along!

"Most children start to spontaneously vocalize very early in childhood, and these early vocalizations can sound a lot like singing. Babies explore the range of their voices, and begin to explore phonetic production in response to the sounds they are bringing in from the world around them. The more music they hear, the more likely they are to include pitch and rhythmic variations in their spontaneous vocalizations." [3]

Playing music for your baby during pregnancy or playing music for your toddler will help develop the child's listening skills and help to shape their preference for musical genre. In a study done by Alexandra Lamont, babies showed a preference for specific songs played one year after they heard the same songs played while they were in the womb. [4]

Give Your Child At Least One Year Of Exploration With Private Lessons

Once a child is old enough to begin private instruction (usually about 5 years old), the first year will have a dramatic impact on whether they will enjoy playing an instrument and look forward to lessons and playing. The first year a child starts private music lessons, they are in exploration mode. Make it your goal to instill a love of music throughout their lifetime instead of trying to turn them into the next virtuoso.

Sources:

[1] This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Leviin. 2006 Dutton Press 
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.

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Written by: Kirk Nebel See other articles by Kirk Nebel
About the Author:

Kirk Nebel is the School Director for the Hollywood Academy of Music. www.hollywoodacademyofmusic.com

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