We hear all the time about how important music is to children and their developing brains, even when they are in the womb. Even more beneficial is the impact of live music vs. recorded music. Even MORE beneficial is a parent singing to their child. These are 3 reasons why you should sing to your child!
Develop Language Skills
Children learn their native language by listening to the people around them talking and by people talking to them. It’s a well acknowledged fact that music can assist in the language development process by providing a fun and natural way to learn. Music and language and much in common including: 1. Music and Language are universal and specific to humans, 2. Both have pitch, timbre, rhythm, and durational features. 3. Spontaneous speech and spontaneous singing typically develop within infants at approximately the same time, 4. Music and language have auditory, vocal, and visual uses (both using written systems) and are built on structure and rules.
When we listen to music, it triggers a different part of our brains to start working. That is why music is so impactful in the treatment of speech loss from stroke or brain jury. When music accesses that part of the brain, people who lost the ability to speak can often sing with no problem and eventually relearn speech through song. Even though children haven’t lost the ability to speak, the same techniques can be used to teach them language. After much repetition, they can help fill in the blanks to familiar songs and eventually sing the whole song themselves.
Language has a natural rhythm like music and the way musical phrases move and end is just like the way language does with speech inflection and punctuation. Teaching language via musical medium is a powerful way for them to learn but also an easy way to keep their attention.
Bonding And Security
Typically babies can start hearing what is going on outside the womb between 16-24 weeks gestation and they are learning their parents’ voices from then on. Singing to your baby or child of any age helps her feel secure, it facilitates bonding, and it’s soothing. There is also no proof that you have to have a great voice for it to be a positive experience for your child, although that might help make the experience better for yourself and your husband/wife.