Make a Joyful Noise: How Playing Music could Enhance Child Development

Introducing music to kids may bring them a world of enjoyment; science also shows it can help them build vital skills.

Music is a universal human truth; every culture produces some form of music involving rhythm and melody. Some scientists, Charles Darwin among them, believe that music may have even preceded language in our evolution1. Song and dance are so thoroughly woven into the collective fabric of our species, that it only makes sense our brains benefit developmentally from listening and playing.

Using the latest technology in imaging, researchers are able to see more clearly just what happens when we experience making music. A study on jazz musicians found that the improvisational nature of the music engaged parts of the brain associated with syntax or structural language and personal expression.2 Other studies indicate that children who receive basic building blocks for musicianship enhance their spatial reasoning, memory and gross motor skills. Even in infants, before gross motor skills emerge, music encourages pre-verbal sounds and responses, or what is more commonly referred to as “babble.”3

There are other less tangible, but equally important reasons to invite music into a child’s life. It provides them with bedrock social skills like listening and responding, cooperation, and offers them a sense of community and play that is immediate and energetic.3

Today’s mobile technology is making it easier to incorporate music into a child’s life in a way that is entertaining, interactive and portable. The developers at Fingertapps (http://www.fingertapps.com) have created a multi-player app offering users of any age the chance to explore different sounds through digital musical instruments. With a virtual guitar, piano, bass and drums, as well as 18 different songs, the Fingertapps Instruments app can accommodate up to four players who can compete for points by playing a melody correctly.

The joys and benefits of incorporating music into our lives are countless, and science has illustrated the many ways it also enhances development, learning and social skills. Explore a fun way to play and experiment with music by checking out the Fingertapps app, enabled for 2 in 1 devices powered by Intel® Core™ M processors. For more information on this family-friendly app, visit: http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/fingertapps-instruments/7c458734-ccc2-4a1b-92c2-e5bf4990d75c

Resources:

  1. https://www.sciencenews.org/article/whatever-music-it%E2%80%99s-basic-part-being-human
  2. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0001679 Even the youngest infant is wired to receive music and discriminate among differences in frequency, melody, and stimuli (Bridger, 1961; Trehub et al, 1990; Standley and Madsen, 1990; Zentner and Kagan, 1996
  3. https://www.musictogether.com/about/research-and-development/researched-based-program//importance-of-music-in-early-childhood
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