Music has spanned centuries and countries. Everyone in every culture is moved by music.
Music is the universal language of mankind.
_Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Whether music is used to entertain, heal, relax or increase abilities, the real benefits and impacts of music has always been questioned by science.
With the progress on scientific methods and techniques for the last 2 decades, the research has now shown proofs that music impacts us. There is a clear link between the brain development and exposure to music.
Music Stimulates Every Part of Your Brain – Scientifically Proven !
Listening to music and practising an instrument stimulate many areas of the brain. A long-term music practice has demonstrated multiple development benefits, especially for children, such as improving language, memory, numerical abilities. Children acquire skills faster.
This diagram can be correlated with the Theory of Multi-Intelligences by Howard Gardner. Music can stimulate these intelligences:
- Spatial : coordinate parts of the body by playing a musical instrument…
- Bodily-Kinesthetic : feel music with the body (dancing, moving, playing an instrument…)
- Musical: analyze components of music (dynamics, sounds…)
- Linguistic: recognize specific sounds, singing lyrics, doing rhymes…
- Logical-Mathematical: analyze and repeat rhythmic patterns…
- Interpersonal: interaction with others with emotions, musical games…
- Intrapersonal: be sensitive to emotions of a music …
- Naturalistic: comparing sounds of nature and sounds of instruments…
In 2005, a study was published on the “Effects of Music Training on the Child’s Brain and Cognitive Development”, which states: “ The musician-non musician comparison is an ideal model for examining whether and, if so, where such functional and structural brain plasticity occurs, because musicians acquire and continuously practice a variety of complex motor, auditory, and multi-modal skills (e.g., translating visually perceived musical symbols into motor commands while simultaneously monitoring instrumental output and receiving multi-sensory feedback). Research has also demonstrated that music training in children results in long-term enhancement of visual-spacial, verbal, and mathematical performance.”
Watch this video to see what happens to your brain when you learn an instrument.
Practising An Instrument Will Help Your Child Learn Better And Feel Better !
In addition, the study titled “Brain Structures Differ between Musicians and Non-Musicians” published in 2003 states: “From an early age, musicians learn complex motor and auditory skills (e.g., the translation of visually perceived musical symbols into motor commands with simultaneous auditory monitoring of output), which they practice extensively from childhood throughout their entire careers. “
An additional study on “Long-Term Positive Associations Between Music Lessons and IQ » published in 2006 indicates “that formal exposure to music in childhood is associated positively with IQ and with academic performance and that such associations are small but general and long lasting.”
When a child listens to and/or practise music, there is a firework in the brain. Musical activities stimulate every area of the brain: vision, balance, hearing, speech, behavior, sensation, skills, movement and emotions. Music education therefore impacts on a number of aspects of a child’s development:
Playing an instrument is highly beneficial for your child, especially because a child acquires so many skills and competences during childhood. But an adult playing an instrument will also observe many positive impacts, on mood, emotional balance, memory (have you seen those videos on how music has helped so many retired people or those with Alzheimer?), dexterity…
Watch this video to observe the firework in the brain.
So why not starting to (re)learn an instrument with your child? It’s never too late to (re)start.
If you don’t know when to start proper music lessons, which methods or instruments to choose, look at this FREE REPORT to download to learn more about these topics.
Send Me the FREE Document on music for children
Your baby is born musician !
A foetus begins to develop musicality as early as ears start developing in utero. The foetus listen to the mother’s voice, which has a musicality, a tone, a pace, a pitch. Then the baby will gradually dissociate the surrounding sounds. When born, the baby is able to recognize his/her mother’s voice amongst other voices and sounds, as demonstrated in a study published in 2010 on “Functional specializations for music processing in the human newborn brain”
When I was expecting my son, I’d continued to play flute almost until he was born. Few weeks after his birth, I played the flute for him for the first time. He immediately stopped what he was doing, and froze. I clearly remember the sparkles in his eyes and his smile. He totally recognized the sound of my instrument. He made a connection to something he was familiar with in my womb.
« Our results show that a neuronal architecture serving the processing of music is already present at birth. […] The foetus perceives auditory information in the final weeks of gestation, and salient features of this input can be recognized after birth. »
Lullabies, rhymes and songs take a great part of a baby’s skill development and expression of emotions.
The baby/toddler acquires the “musicality” of his/her first language. When the baby starts to babble, he/she tries to find a pitch and intensity. He/she is playing with his/her voice. From foetus to toddler, the child is indeed exposed to music. The baby is already sensitive to music! He/she is a musician !
I remember the time I was expecting my daughter. She was so active compared to my son, or I would think she loved expressing her dance moves in my womb with kicks and hand shakes. During the day, it was fine, but when I needed some rest during a nap or nighttime, even rubbing my belly and talking to her wouldn’t stop her. She would just continue partying! One night, desperately looking for some rest, one song popped into my mind. A song – a lullaby I learnt when I was 5 years old. I sung it to her and then the magic started ! She just calmed down and rested ! WOW ! I found the magic lullaby ! It was my secret tool to help her help me sleep during the night ! When she was born, and would cry non-stop even if I had changed diapers, fed her and rocked up, this lullaby was the connection. She heard the signal she recognized to calm down. Even years later, when she feels not great at all, she lays on me while I hum or sing this song, and she become totally peaceful. Music connects to emotions and experiences.
-> Are you expecting a baby? Look at my Harmonious Cocoon Program to reinforce the bond with your unborn baby and feel more emotionally balance.
Now, you might get the pictures that music is key for your child’s development at any stage and for yourself too.
But what to do now? How to start exposing your child to music?
- You’re expecting a baby? You can already expose your unborn baby to music, for several reasons: create and reinforce the bond with your baby (and this can be applied with any member of your family – check my “Harmonious Cocoon Program”); to boost his/her brain; to feel more emotionally balance as a mom-to-be – less stress and fear, and more confidence and joy. It’s all about cuddles, listening and sharing music, singing, connecting and loving the unborn baby in the most peaceful way.
- For baby and children under 10, create a musical environment with a set of musical instruments, audio books, by listening to different music styles, going to musical live event… They’re lots of easy musical activities to do at home to infuse love of music for your child, to inspire him/her to learn to play one.
- For children above 4-5, help them pick an instrument they’ll learn to play. Let’s them try instruments in store, attend live concert with musicians, explore music styles…
- For you adult, (re)learn to play an instrument or sing, listen to music to boost your energy, reconnect with yourself and emotional balance.