Kirstin’s Blog


Essay # 5: Hearing: Benefits of Music in Child Development

Music has been proven to benefit children as they develop the skills necessary to succeed in the world. When listening to music the average individual’s ear collects, focuses, and transmits sounds. The vibrations of music must travel into our ears in order for us to really hear the music. Today, music is not just used to provide entertainment, but to assist in the growth of intelligence in young individuals.

Studies exposing fetal babies to classical music while still in the womb show positive changes in physical and mental development after birth. This particular experiment had fetuses listen to 70 hours of classical music during the last weeks of their mother’s pregnancy. Six months after their birth, these babies were more developed in terms of motor, linguistic and intellectual skills than babies who had not listened to music while still in their mother’s wombs.

“Scientists explain that children are born with 100 billion nerve cells in their bodies. These cells, however, are connected only loosely. Each event a baby experiences – such as listening to his mother, seeing a picture, feeling a sheet against his skin, or attempting to touch a toy hanging above – triggers electrical signals (neural impulses) which establish or strengthen the intercellular connections in the brain” (Tiny Love).

Music therapy for premature babies in intensive care has shown to be successful in their recovery. Lullaby music helps the babies to develop and serves as a therapeutic aspect to relax and calm the babies in their weak physical state. Dr. Shmuel Arnon preformed an experiment using 15 infants. He played live music, pre-recorded music, and no music to each baby. When the live music was played the infants’ heart rates reduced thirty minutes after the music had started and a significant deeper sleep was noted. The live music Arnon and his colleagues chose to use during this experiment was a wordless lullaby sung by a female and accompanied by a simple instrument..

“Dr Arnon said: “Music soothes and lullabies are believed to quiet babies. In recent years evidence has shown that music improves the physiological responses and growth of pre-term infants. Infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit are often subjected to noise levels which cause concern but the special properties of the music can provide benefits and a solution to the noise” (British Psychological Society).

Childhood can be a very challenging time in a person’s life. Everything is new and can sometimes be scary, but from every new experience comes newly gained knowledge. The most crucial time for learning is in the adolescent stage because it teaches about the mental, physical and emotional fundamentals that will support a person throughout his or her life. Music helps these skills to nurture and grow. The skills gained through the knowledge of music can be applied to lessons children will need to learn as they mature. Playing an instrument has a large impact on developing social skills. Children often become more self-confident and learn to gain patience. Music allows children to develop skills useful in the classroom as well. Because instruments require such a great deal of concentration, children are obligated to build a higher tolerance to paying attention during long periods of time.

Children learning how to play instruments at a young age has proven to be effective and to enhance a child’s capacity to retain and understand information. Just as Robert Saul stated, “In order to interpret and make music, you are using a variety of ways of processing information. Working musically, such as listening to or thinking about music involves auditory, visual, cognitive, affective and motor skills that have positive benefits for other areas of learning.” When learning an instrument, hand-eye coordination is key. Not only does music help us learn through the sense of hearing, but also through sight and touch.  A strong relationship between the age a child begins learning an instrument has shown to be imperative. The earlier the child begins to play an instrument, the greater the effect it will have on that child.

Although learning to play an instrument is an excellent source of learning for a young child, so is listening to music. Listening to music allows children to develop ideas and to learn about life. Many times, parents won’t let their children listen to certain types of music or artists because of the topics they choose to speak about or the language they choose to use. Children are young and impressionable beings. They don’t know any better than to believe what they hear. Parents often only allow their children to listen to songs that are age appropriate. In today’s world, they even have a music company, Kid’s Bop, which produces cd’s based on the most age appropriate tunes from current popular artists.

Music benefits children to learn, and gain confidence. It is not only a learning experience, but a love and passion that can only be experienced through the sense lf hearing. Without it, I could not imagine the world.

 

 

 Works Cited

British Psychological Society, “Live music has positive effects on hospitalized premature babies.”

             26 Oct 2008 <http://www.bps.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/

             releases$/developmental-section/live-music-has-positive-effects-on- hospitalised-

             premature-babies.cfm>.

Stafford, Karen. “The Benefits of Early Childhood Music.” 26 Oct 2008

             <http://www.musiceducationmadness.com/benefits.shtml&gt;.

Saul, Robert. “Today’s Music Lesson, Tomorrow’s Genius.” 26 Oct 2008

            <http://www.metromusic.net.au/news.htm&gt;.

Tiny Love, “Your Baby Needs Music.” 26 Oct 2008 

            <http://www.tinylove.com/article.aspx?articleId=29&gt;.

  

My goal for this essay is to achieve the sense of hearing by describing why music plays such an important role in child development. When listening to music the average individual’s ear collects, focuses, and transmits sounds. My audience will be for parents with their children’s best interests for academic success in mind. It’s important that children become familiar with understanding music because it develops skills that will be useful throughout their lifetimes. The style I chose to write in was informative, and I will be writing a research paper.

I believe I achieved my goal in illustrating the importance of music in child development. When we hear music we are able to learn, discover, grow, and relax. Music seems to give young children a greater sense of self, develops the idea of taking turns and helps build social interaction (News-Medical.Net) Without the sense of hearing our ability to learn through music would not be possible. My question for the reader is, was my argument strong?

 


1 Comment so far
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