how music affects child development ,Music makes the brain evolve in a unique way. The findings are from neuropsychologist Catherine Loveday of the University of Westminster. But it reiterates what educators and families already feel in practice: music education contributes to child development in several aspects.
According to the researcher, by affecting emotions, music is capable of deeply stimulating the brain, like no other form of artistic manifestation. “It is a strong cognitive stimulus and there is strong evidence that musical practice improves memory and language.”
Canadian Rotman Institute scientist Sylvain Moreno led a research that evaluated the effect of musical practice on the brain development of eight-year-olds. They received free music lessons for a period of six months and were evaluated before and after. The tests measured cognitive, auditory and reading skills. In the final assessment, children demonstrated improved reading skills and were better able to connect written words with their spoken sounds – a critical component of literacy. In addition, changes in intonation or emotion were identified during a conversation. The researchers also monitored the brain waves of children using neuroimaging techniques, which showed an increase in activity in regions associated with careful listening, speech and music.
how music affects child development
“From the womb of the mother, the children respond to musical stimuli,” says Claudia Freixedas, Educational Director of Amigos do Guri, manager of the Guri Project on the coast and interior of São Paulo. The largest Brazilian sociocultural project, maintained by the State Department of Culture of the State of São Paulo, the Guri Project provides free music education to children and young people between the ages of 6 and 18. According to Claudia, “as of the 21st week of pregnancy, babies may already perceive sound stimuli, such as internal sounds of a woman’s body, heartbeat, breathing, and the mother’s voice. In the first months of life, the baby already shows an interest in the sounds around him and is easily scared by loud noises. Between 4 and 6 months of age, he begins to try to identify where the sound comes from and what the sound source is, showing great auditory sensitivity. Therefore, we emphasize the importance of the appreciation of the musical stimulus to children from the first years “, affirms the educational director.
Elaine Rodrigues, from São José dos Campos, enrolled her daughter, Gabriela, at age 9 at the local Guri Project, following her therapist’s guidance. According to Elaine, she was diagnosed with ADHD, epilepsy, and learning disabilities. After a year of piano lessons, the girl showed significant improvements in her development. “Surprisingly, Gabriela was discharged from the therapist and the results of her exams were very satisfactory. It was noticeable that the musical practice helped her to develop a greater concentration and to improve her self-esteem. Today, she feels safer, more confident and even socializes better. Even her school average improved. ”
According to the Impact Assessment Survey commissioned from Ipsos Public Affairs by the Friends Association of the Guri Project from 2011 to 2013, musical activities positively encourage and impact student behavior. The family members who answered the interview evaluated the behavior of their children comparing before and after the beginning of the musical practice in the program. More than 60% noticed an increase in the discipline and organization of children. Already in relation to friends and family, 80% stated that they felt their children more sociable and open to share family moments.
how music affects child development
According to the Educational Director of Guri, music makes many things possible. “These data confirm that musical practice, especially when performed collectively, can foster resourcefulness, as well as enable new ways of thinking and seeing the world, having a critical and reflective view of oneself and others and working on issues of solidarity, thus forming more tolerant people, “says the Educational Director, concludes Claudia Freixedas.
According to the Educational Director, in addition to the benefits already mentioned above, children and young people can also find in music another language to express themselves, developing auditory acuity, attentive listening, alertness, imaginative and creative sense.