Not only can activities involving music be enjoyable, they are also beneficial to children's development. Music helps activate different parts of the brain, critical to growth and development. In turn, it can improve memory, retention and language development skills.
Listening to music activates both parts of the brain—the right and left sides. While one side works to process the lyrics of the song, the other side processes the music and melody. The process of activating the whole brain improves retention. Moreover, one's short-term memory is only capable of holding a limited amount of information, but if this information is bonded together, as is the case in a song, retention is stronger. In turn, the brain is able to receive more information and retain it better.
Music is also a fundamental element in language development skills among young children. As early as five months into gestation, a fetus is able to respond to phonemes—the single sounds that comprise words or letters. During this stage, the fetus can respond to music, often by blinking or moving along with the beat.
The first year of a child's life is particularly crucial to learning sounds and words, and the first three years offer the best window of opportunity to learn a foreign language. By playing and singing songs in foreign languages in your classroom, children are able to learn and retain this valuable knowledge which can help them now and in the future.
If you are interested in learning more about this subject, refer to ProSolutions Training's course, "Music and Movement: Enhancing Your Curriculum." After taking this course, you will be able to recognize music and movement activities that boost memory and learning, and also incorporate these lessons into an early care and education curriculum. ProSolutions Training also offers CDA training for early childhood educators as well as social worker training.