There is no denying that music is a powerful force capable of bringing people so much joy, but did you know that it can be hugely beneficial in supporting a baby’s development too? Research shows that listening to and making music can help babies and young children develop vital gross and fine motor skills, enhance speech processing and recall, encourage socialisation, and support creative self-expression. Not only that, but the pure happiness that music brings to young ones is worth its weight in gold too! You can read more about the benefits of music play for babies below, and don’t forget to check out our gorgeous collection of wooden musical instruments while you’re at it!
- MUSIC SUPPORTS COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
There are numerous studies that demonstrate how exposure to music from a young age supports many areas of cognitive development, including speech, problem solving, and memory. There is a strong connection between music and speech in that both require the ability to distinguish between auditory nuances. It is believed that early exposure to music can help babies develop this skill, thereby sharpening their auditory memory as well as their ability to differentiate between similar sounds (think B and P), which is a fundamental precursor to speech processing and language comprehension.
Furthermore, there is also a proven connection between music play and the development of math skills! This is because engagement with music encourages pattern recognition, counting ability and spatial awareness, all of which are present in many early-learning mathematic concepts. So, by introducing informal music play to your little one, you are essentially giving them a head start in the literacy and numeracy stakes once they start school.
- MUSIC PLAY ENHANCES GROSS AND FINE MOTOR SKILLS
For babies and children, music and movement often go hand in hand, which is why music play encourages the development of both gross and fine motor skills. Dancing and movement are forms of active play that help strengthen the muscles and core of your growing babes and will in time also encourage other “big” body movements like running, jumping, leaping, and skipping. And the actual making of music (I.e., using instruments such as shakers, bells, tambourines etc.) supports the development of fine motor skills and can help prepare little baby and toddler hands for activities like drawing and writing as they get older.
- INTERACTIVE MUSIC PLAY ENCOURAGES SOCIALISATION
Engagement with others through music can foster empathy, connection, and emotional awareness, which are all key factors of socialisation. Studies have also shown that when babies and children interact with each other by listening to and/or playing music, the benefits can also extend to the development of personality traits such as cooperation and kindness. Singing songs with others can also support self-regulation by helping young children identify their own emotions as they grow, which is another skill associated with positive social relationships.
Baby Sensory classes are a fantastic way to incorporate socialisation into your little one’s music exploration, with the added benefit of the parents and caregivers being able to meet and interact with each other too. Remember that grown-ups need socialisation and connection just as much as little people do, especially in those early days as a new parent!
- MUSIC INSPIRES CREATIVITY AND SELF EXPRESSION
Exploring through music stimulates the parts of the brain associated with creativity and self-expression, particularly the frontal cortex. If children have been exposed to music play from an early age, they are more likely to gravitate towards creative play as a way of expressing their feelings and emotions.
One of the best ways to encourage this creative expression of self is to make the play space informal, with lots of room for improvisation and supporting your little one to take the lead. This can be as simple as putting a few accessible instruments in front of your child, putting on some nursery rhymes, and having a boogie together in your living room. Exposure without pressure is the key here. If provided with an invitation to play and given adequate time and space, most children will intuitively engage with instruments, sounds and movement in a way that feels comfortable to them. This helps build self confidence as well as decision making skills, both of which contribute to healthy self-awareness.
- MUSIC PLAY FOSTERS BONDING WITH YOUR BABY
Perhaps the simplest yet most powerful benefit of music play is the beautiful bonding opportunity it offers to both babies and their parents/caregivers. It is a fun and memorable way to connect and spend meaningful time together. The joy in the eyes of your child when you are so present with them in those moments is truly irreplaceable and when continued over time, become the memories that neither of you will ever forget. So, whether its playing instruments, singing songs, or busting out some dance moves – there are so many reasons to engage in music play with your littlies! Create those special moments together, allow them to explore and feel the world around them, and give them a great start in so many different areas of their lives!
Don’t forget that our Fauve + Co team is on hand to assist you with all your music and sensory play needs! We provide free shipping Australia wide on all orders over $100 and offer multiple payment options including PayPal and Afterpay. Our team are always on hand to answer any questions you may have. Simply contact us with your query and we will get back to you as soon as possible.