By JJ Jackson
Can babies play music?
Absolutely, and kids will benefit even more from music if they start as toddlers. There's even the Toddler Tunes online music lessons for kids to get them started. The old thought is detrimental to wait until they are 6-years-old before starting music training. Kids need music as early as possible because their lives will be forever enhanced from the benefits of music. Here's how to use music to benefit at any age:
It’s about musical exposure during the initial formative years. Very young children have strong delta brain wave activity making their world one of continuous dreamlike imagination, as described by cell biologist and lecturer Bruce H. Lipton, PhD. Modeling will be their main avenue of learning at this stage. Show your infants and toddlers different instruments and how they work. Play for them and most importantly, SING TO THEM! Even if you don't think you have a good singing voice. Singing to babies helps them develop language skills and retain the ability for perfect pitch they’re born with in order to recognize your voice. Singing their name to them can help them learn to recognize their name, too.
As kids grow up, they start to show more predominant theta brain wave activity meaning their subconscious mind is recording everything and forming the core belief structure that will determine most of their results in their adult life. At this stage you can use music to help your children develop a strong mindset and vision for life. Informal music lessons can start at this stage where kids learn how to play notes, strum, vocalize, etc. Music becomes a more deliberate tool of expression and the milestones children reach along their learning path give them the skills to grow as healthy, dynamic, expressive, aware human beings.
Kids' brains move more into the faster alpha and beta brain waves as they continue to grow and develop their identity. Formal music lessons can start to expand the foundational skills they’ve already started developing. This stage is where children start to more easily play songs in entirety. Repeat their favorite songs over time to see the progress. Family music activities are fun ways to spend quality time with your children. Use the benefits of music to help kids achieve their other life goals. For example, if your child shows interest in dancing, have them take drum lessons to develop their coordination, rhythm and stamina. Or have your kid learn piano, guitar or violin to nurture their engineering skills with the instruments' details, complexity and structures of melody, harmony, rhythm, and dynamics.
As they approach teen years, music is a great outlet for kids to manage their emotions and find their agency. Music is there to help teens express themselves and develop their identity. Through their musical milestones, they level up their skills to play more rhythmically, melodically and from memory. This builds confidence at a crucial point of emotional development. Music can also help kids learn new things in other areas. In music lessons, it's important for teens to have musical outlets that they control. As a teacher or parent, help teens use music lessons to develop their own ability to set, pursue and achieve their own goals. Kids are developing many skills as they grow with music: coordination, accuracy, expressiveness, rhythm, whole brain activation, and confidence. These skills will go on to benefit them for the rest of their life.
Music helps guide continued growth as people move into and through adulthood. It harnesses the creative and collaborative power of people as they blossom into middle age. Music is a way for late teens to develop their own interests and style through exposing them to different music styles, genres, techniques, and the crucial element of songwriting. Composing their own music, performing and playing with others are effective ways to build confidence, communication skills and expressive abilities. Learning and playing music helps school students perform their best, get better grades, have stronger memory, and manage their stress responses and emotions with a psyche and immune system enhanced by music. Playing in a band or other group music outlet is a great chance to build social and teamwork skills, as well as business skills if the band is performing professionally. Music is also associated with earning a higher income.
Ages 50 and up:
Use music to stimulate cognitive skills and keep the brain sharp by activating parts of the whole brain while forming new synaptic connections through the brain’s plasticity response to music. Playing and learning music can help battle the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's disease and even unlock memories trapped in the brain, as well as promote good feeling emotions, especially when music is shared with others. Music has been used to help heal from traumatic brain injury and build motor function and dexterity once deprived by cerebral palsy. Music is the medicine that can reach every part of the body, mind and soul.
Music is a powerful way to get the most out of life, especially by using these five ways: listen, learn, play, write, and teach music. These can be shared with the whole family to get the most benefits of music. For music games the whole family can share tonight, visit JacksonMusicProgram.com.