The earlier a person is exposed to music, the better effect it will have on one’s mind. Numerous studies have shown the powerful effects of music on people from birth all the way to the end of one’s life. Even though many scientist, physicians, and natural healers have spent their adult lives striving to make parents and educators aware of the importance of music, many people still view music as a pleasurable activity, instead of viewing it as a vital component to intelligence and child development.
Music has such a powerful effect on the mind that it actually changes the way children’s brains develop. The act of listening, expressing, and learning to sing or play an instrument actually changes the chemical make-up of the brain. Music enhances learning by increasing a child’s ability to focus, listen, speak, express emotions and relax.
Music can be medicine to an anxious child, it can help a 2 year old learn their ABC’s and it can help a high school students on their SAT’s. In 1996, a study completed by the College Entrance Examination Board reported that students with experience in music performance scored thirty-nine points higher on the math section of the SAT and fifty-one points higher on the verbal part of the SAT than the national average (Campbell, p.177).
This does not mean that your child has to be a concert pianist to get the full effects of music. What it means, is that using music on a daily basis in your child’s life is extremely beneficial.
As a musician, life coach, and mental health counselor I have been interested in the effects of music on the mind for a great deal of my adult life and have been actively using music with my children since the time I was pregnant. With that said, you don’t have to be a physician, a musician, or a music therapist in order to use music effectively with your children.