"Music makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own. Under the influence of music I really seem to feel what I do not understand, to have powers which I cannot have."— Leo Tolstoy
Music is a powerful change agent. People are always busy with a million racing thoughts about husbands, wives, deadlines, exams, the rains... but music has a stilling influence. It calms our thoughts down.
While we agree that it is so vital to retain inner peace and calm in our otherwise agitated lives, how many of us as parents and teachers try to consciously infuse music in the lives of our children?
Music has held people in her sway since time immemorial. Music represents happiness and joy. Festivals and celebrations are always associated with music. Entertainment relies heavily on music.
Music will not help create a mathematical genius but will help develop the same part of the brain which is used to do math.
Music can be introduced into a child's life very early, perhaps even before they are born. There are, in most cultures, so many songs which are traditionally believed to have deep impacts on the child in the mother's womb and many expecting moms have spent their days of anticipation listening to these songs. Though such theories have not been scientifically proven, what scientists do agree upon is that if the mother enjoys the music she is listening to and is in a relaxed state of mind, the unborn child benefits. In infancy too, playing classical music as they play or eat can help calm them; implicitly they pick up music.
Children in the age group of 1 to 3 benefit if they are actively involved with music. They love to sing and dance and that's why we see most preschools focusing on music and movement. Music gives them a sense of rhythm and there is a lot of brain development happening when they are clapping, tapping, shaking their head, marching and rolling to music. Most of this learning happens subconsciously.
Research also shows how music helps develop various skills. Music and math have been known to go together for a long time. There is enough research to prove that training in music helps enhance the math skills of an individual. Music targets, among the varied parts of the brain, that particular area that deals with the development of math skills. Music will not help create a mathematical genius but will help develop the same part of the brain which is used to do math.
Learning to read and interpret music is as beneficial as learning a new language.
Learning to read and interpret music is as beneficial as learning a new language. While mastering the syntax and semantics of music, new pathways are created in the brain. These then rework existing pathways and get the brain to think and process differently .Thus music helps increase the levels of creativity in an individual.
There are simple ways of introducing music in the lives of children.
- Pick out musical tracks that can play in the background when you read aloud to them. Pick songs that fit the mood of the story and always play the same song when you read out a particular story. Through association children will link the song and the story and make multiple connections in their mind.
- Combine dance and music. Ask your children to dance to various tunes. They could interpret the music any way they want. They will develop a sense of rhythm, balance and coordination. The power of creating their own dance piece is very powerful and will keep their creative juices flowing.
- Simple activities like creating a paper plate drum or a simple jaltarang will bring music and rhythm in their lives. Just pin up two paper plates together with a few beads or tiny pebbles inside them. You have a simple percussion instrument ready. Arrange a series of bottles or cups with varying levels of water. Hit notes on them with a metal spoon. Your jaltarang is ready!
- Play music at home while you are doing your daily tasks. Playing music while your children are doing their homework or even busy with board games helps a lot. Soon you will have your children developing their own taste in music and wanting to play and learn music for themselves.