Did you know there is a connection between developing rhythm skills and pre-reading abilities in toddlers? (NAMA Foundation)
Did you know that young children who undergo musical training have better verbal memory, second language pronunciation accuracy, reading ability and executive functions? (Frontiers in Science)
Did you know that learning to play an instrument as a child may predict that child’s academic performance and IQ in young adulthood? (Also Frontiers in Science)
A PsychologyToday story used Albert Einstein as an example of how music affects intellect. Einstein began playing the violin at age 6 and was playing Mozart's sonatas by the age of 13. A study reported by Science News suggested that Einstein’s genius may have been due to the well-developed connection between his right brain creativity and left brain logic.
Now, we’re not promising that enrolling your 6-year-old in a violin class will make her, or him, the next Einstein. But recent neuroscience research does indicate that early childhood musical training affects your child’s brain development.
“Early music education has a lifelong impact on the cognitive development of children,” says Donna Dirksing Doran, a music teacher at The Summit Country Day School. Mrs. Doran, teaches a movement and music class for babies and their parents called IGknight. “Music helps the brain make connections.”
5 ways babies benefit from music
When babies and toddlers are engaged by music in an age-appropriate setting, they benefit in many ways, Mrs. Doran says:
- They gain the phonological processing, spoken language and comprehension skills that are the foundation of reading.
- They build the spatial-temporal and reasoning skills required for math and science.
- They develop social and emotional skills that are essential for school readiness.
- They develop their ability to regulate their responses and relate to others.
- They improve their gross and fine motor skills through movement to music and playing simple instruments.
Meet the expert: A widely published children’s music author and expert in the Orff-Schulwerk approach to music education, Mrs. Doran will present “Music: For Your Child’s Mind, Body and Soul” on Oct. 28 at the 10th annual Early Childhood Education Symposium. The symposium is free and open to the public. Register here.
IGknight Program: Read about The Summit's movement and music classes for babies and their parents, and see a video, here.
Violin, Piano Classes: The Summit offers individual instruction in violin and piano to students during the school day for students in kindergarten through grade 12. Learn more here.
Related Blog: In a previous published blog, we offered tips for parents from Dr. Allan Poussaint, a child psychiatrist with Writing for Family Education, for family-centered music activities. Read “How to use music to prepare your preschooler.”
-- By Nancy Berlier
About Donna Dirksing Doran: Donna Dirksing Doran has a master's in music education with specialization in Orff-Schulwerk from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Her bachelor's degree in music education is from Transylvania University. She is a frequent presenter of workshops and clinics at the local, state and national levels and has several publications through Heritage Music Press. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.