Music is a cultural activity and enjoyable art form, but it can be hard to explain to someone who doesn’t understand it. And some kids just don’t gravitate toward it. So how do you raise a child to love music — and is it even important?
To answer the second question first — yes — music is important to a child’s development. Teaching your child about songs and composition can help with:
- Physical skill development (e.g., motor skills and coordination)
- Academic skill development (math and musical composition are closely related)
- Improvement of self-esteem
- Social skill cultivation
- Development of patience and discipline
Learning about and creating music is more than an enjoyable pastime. It can actually help your child gain greater focus and understanding of the world around him. So while you may not be able to raise a child to love music, it should definitely be a part of their life.
Here are five easy ways to make it happen.
1. Play Tunes Regularly — Even Before They’re Born
We know it’s important to read to babies when they’re still inside mom, and the same goes for playing them music. Some research has shown that mothers who played music and read to their babies during pregnancy felt a stronger maternal bond and reported fewer symptoms of postpartum depression as compared to mothers who did not use any type of prenatal stimulation. (Music is even being used in hospitals to help premature babies learn to feed, so there has to be something to this connection.)
That act should continue after the baby is born. Use a variety of music and see what your baby gravitates toward. The more stimulating your musical environment, the more likely your child will learn how to recognize and appreciate different compositional styles.