Your Toddler, the Musician.
Music is an intangible force which has the power to direct a person’s behavior.
For many, it’s a contestant companion and for some, it is a much-needed
distraction. Music is perceived and used differently by different people. It can be
played to increase concentration or recall a memory. We are constantly exposed
to music in our everyday lives. There is music in math, there is music in the rain
and there is music in making a product look appealing in an advertisement.
Listening to and making music is a sensory experience. Singing releases, the
feel-good chemicals (endorphins) in our brain, making our mood better.
As Listening is precocious, the understanding of tunes and rhythms comes
naturally to kids. Brains of toddlers soak up anything, which makes it easier to
expose them to different kinds of music. Music leaves them content and can help
them sleep better. Toddlers have an excellent memory for music and pay more
attention to words expressed in a sing-song way than in a tone missing pitch and
Have you wondered why there are so many nursery rhymes?
Kids respond actively to music from age 1 to 3. They also experiment with pitches
and try to sing with a steady beat at this age. They enjoy playing simple
instruments like bells, rattlers, shakers, etc.
Music helps in cognitive development. Acute acts like dancing to a beat or
making sounds with sticks or spoons helps in the growth of fine motor skills (Arts
Education Partnership, 2011.) Toddlers apprehend tune of a sound before they
can comprehend the words. The prevailing acceptance of the positive effects of
lullabies in different cultures is the essence from which many scientists base their
research on the influence of music. Studies have shown that lullabies do not just
help putting your toddler to sleep but also help reduce stress and anxiety in them.
Music is used as theory and as a tool for learning. It can accelerate brain
development and aids in having a good memory. A study done in University of
California shows that music extensively helps in the areas of language acquisition
and reading. Ergo, Singing and dancing must be invigorated in toddlers. There
are many ways in which you do so.
1) Bedtime Music: Lullabies leave a calming effect and help toddlers sleep. A
lullaby sung over and over again can help improve vocabulary. In a
documentary called The Science of Sleep, it was shown that toddlers who
take a nap after being engaged in an activity requiring concentration, can
recall words and actions of the same activity for a long time.
2) Choice of Objects: Let your toddler explore sound in their own way.
Provide them with different objects which produce different sounds and let
them compose their own tune. Give them a spoon and kitchen utensils
filled with water and watch them probe into tone and rhythm.
3) Sing to them: Keep your toddler musically inclined by singing to them.
Make songs out of the things you do every day and sing it to them.
4) Expose them to a Variety of other Music: Make your toddler listen to
various sounds and songs. Some songs like; what does the fox say, can
always hold a child’s attention. Dance along to the tunes.
Always spare some moments from your busy life to sing and dance to the tunes
you’ve made. Sit with your toddler and create your own nursery rhyme and sing
with every chance you get. Music is a way of creatively engaging your toddler
and the more time you spend singing, the happier your child would be.