Guest Blogger: Melanie Nichols
This March, we are sharing a special series of blog posts from Melanie Nichols. This series was originally posted in February 2021. You can find Melanie and her blog here. If you would like to submit to our blog, please email us.
“Won’t you sing with me?” The catchy ending to a favorite song or an invitation to more? Music is a universal language that we begin sharing with our children from a very young age. We sing lullabies to babies, dance with preschoolers, listen to music in classrooms, and swap playlist recommendations with teens. Shared musical experiences provide a foundation for building relationships, as well as for physical and cognitive growth. Indeed, making and listening to music is one of the most basic human functions. Music allows us to feel nearly all emotions that we experience in our lives. What an incredible thing to share with the kids in our homes and classrooms.
“If children are not introduced to music at an early age, I believe something fundamental is actually being taken from them” – Luciano Pavarotti. According to an article on brighthorizons.com (link below), “Music ignites all areas of child development and skills for school readiness, including intellectual, social-emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and the mind work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words.” Music also has benefits that go beyond brain development, such as mood-boosting, reducing stress, stimulating memories, and easing pain, according to NorthShore.org (link below).
Thankfully, it’s not our actual singing voice that matters when we look at ways to bring musical experiences into our homes and classrooms. Whether listening to a current pop song on the radio, introducing our kids to a “classic” CD, taking a break with a dance party, encouraging them to try an instrument, or singing songs together, music benefits us all.