Do you also enjoy making music or listening to music with your kids? We most certainly do! But did you know that besides being enjoyable, music also makes your child smarter? And that’s not all. Music reinforces a feeling of being part of a group and discipline in kids, and stimulates social and emotional skills. But what’s perhaps most important of all: music leads to a more positive self-image.
How do children get to be cleverer through music?
Do you recognize feeling better through music? Then you should know that this also has the same effect on children: by listening to music but, especially, also by making music yourself. Brain research shows that when children make music the left side of the brain (language and intellect) and the right side (state of your emotion) connect better with one another. This is because making music has a positive and stimulating effect on the neuronal connections. By activating neurons, fewer of them die off and their connections are improved.
The above is explained in a short and pleasant way in this film:
So, should we listen to all our records and CDs with our kids all day, then?
Before we present our entire music collection to our kids and take them to guitar, drum, bass guitar and singing lessons, what’s best? In the Netherlands, Erik Scherder, professor in neuropsychology, has done a great amount of research on the effect of music on children. His view on this question is:
“Not much is known about this. Music has a positive effect on a person’s empathetic capacity. Music activates networks in the field of spatial insight and analytical thinking, which is not the case in arithmetic and language, and this may also have a positive effect on functions such as arithmetic. The only thing you can’t say is: the effect is at its best if you play music three hours a week, after which it diminishes. It is also difficult to do research on that. What has been shown, however, is that the various networks in the brains of professional musicians work extremely well.”
However, he also adds something which we find most important of all: “The actual crux of the matter should not be what music can mean to other subjects. Music stands out on its own: it has its own intrinsic value!” Cheers to that.