Whether dancing around the living room on a rainy day or singing along to the radio, school-age kids love listening to and participating in music.
And there are loads of good reasons to encourage this enthusiasm. Research shows that kids who are actively involved in music (who play it or sing it regularly) do better in reading
- learn coordination, goal-setting, concentration, and cooperation
- are more likely to do better in math and science because music helps build reasoning skills and cognitive development, which are important to both
- get along better with their peers and have higher self-esteem
- are more likely to go to college
One study demonstrated that second-grade students who were given keyboard training while also using math software scored higher on proportional math and fractions tests than students who used the software alone. And students who have been involved in public school music programs score higher on their SATs than those who don’t.
But the best reason to encouraging a love of music might just be that it’s fun. Kids (and many adults) enjoy few things more than singing, dancing, and listening to music.
Listening to a wide variety of music improves a child’s ability to analyze and comprehend it. The early elementary years are the perfect time to expose kids to everything from classical to country. Most are open to experiencing many musical styles until around the third grade, when they start to prefer popular music. (Studies have also shown that kids in grades four and up prefer music with a faster tempo so get ready to rock & roll if your child is approaching middle school.
Fill your child’s life with as much music as you can.
Buy a musical instrument and have it available in your child’s play area.