The study of music at a young age increases the quality of the child's early life experiences. Music can soothe, stimulate or entertain children. It provides pleasure, joy and an outlet for creative expression; it helps develop listening and auditory discrimination skills; it contributes to motor skill development (both large muscle and small muscle); and it increases the range and flexibility of the voice. Music can soothe emotions, invite enthusiasm and bring immense pleasure to the listener.
Eight Cool Things Music Does for Kids
1. Confidence and Poise: Music making offers children a chance to perform with and for others, and to develop confidence in their ability to make presentations for groups.
2. Perseverance and Commitment: As children become more skilled in singing, moving and playing instruments, they can see and hear the results of their efforts.
3. Coordination: The many movement activities associated with music experiences develop both small muscles and large muscles. The awareness of internal steady pulse, coordinated with external movements, helps children regulate their behavior.
4. Self-respect and Satisfaction: As musical skills develop, children feel a strong sense of satisfaction in their progress and develop a feeling of self-respect that transfers to other situations in life.
5. Creativity and Self-expression: Music experiences often invite individual creative responses and encourage children's imagination in other creative endeavors.
6. Pride in Achievement: Sharing music with peers and family reinforces the value of each child in the classroom, and children develop a sense of pride in their musical achievements.
7. Concentration and Problem-solving: Learning about music requires concentration and focus. When children are asked to analyze, compare and contrast sounds, they are actively engaged in problem-solving experiences.
8. Fun and Relaxation: Singing, moving, playing instruments and listening to music are all enjoyable experiences. Music making can provide hours of personal entertainment and relaxation throughout one's entire life.
Edwin Gordon, a preeminent music educator and researcher, states that "Music aptitude is a product of both innate potential and early environmental experiences. . .regardless of the level of music aptitude with which children are born, they must have early formal and informal experiences in music in order to maintain that level of potential. Otherwise, the level of music aptitude they may be born with will never be fully realized in achievement. . . . (a child's) innate music aptitude, be it high or low, will diminish, possibly vanishing to almost nothing, without an early stimulating music environment." ( "All About Audiation and Music Aptitudes," Music Educators Journal, No. 41, Sep. 99)