Being exposed to singing at a young age is invaluable to children. Not only does singing provide a sense of calm, but also helps children with their comprehension of language, motor skills and problem-solving skills. Many parents have fond memories of being sung to as a child. You can create the same memories with your child.
Singing and playing songs for your children lighten the mood and make learning fun. In addition to being enjoyable, singing songs repetitively makes children cognizant of different sounds and how to pronounce them. Singing helps promote your child’s imagination, which is constantly being dampened by video games and TV. When your child sings, she is creating and learning sounds, not just passively watching. Singing also improves a child’s confidence and emotional development.
According to the Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education, children remembered facts much better when they had sung them. For example, most of us learn our ABCs through song. Through singing, children also became more engaged with the curriculum (Sing up). Singing is so much fun and can be used to get kids involved with learning.
Sally Blythe, an expert in early childhood writes, ““Song is a special type of speech. Lullabies, songs and rhymes of every culture carry the ‘signature’ melodies and inflections of a mother tongue, preparing a child’s ear, voice and brain for language” (Kindermusic). She also writes that children respond more to live music then recorded music. By singing to your child, you prepare her for learning language.
A 2007 poll found that eighty-eight percent of all post-graduate students in college and eighty-three percent of people earning $150,000 or more had substantial music training (Musikgarten). The correlation between music and later success in life is undeniable.
What parents can do to foster a love of singing:
- Play CDs and videos of nursery rhymes to your children
- Get your children dancing or doing actions along with the song. Children love to clap!
- Pick songs that have a great dance beat i.e. Zoobi Doobi
- Sing with your children! This is a great way for bonding with your kids and helps their brains develop.
- Don’t force children to sing with you.
- Sing the song as many times as the child wants. She might want to sing over and over!
- You can sing about what you are doing in the moment and create lyrics on the spot. For example, if you are about to eat dinner you can sing, “We are going to eat dinner soon…”
- Don’t worry about the quality of your voice.
Singing is free, enjoyable and can be done anywhere. Share the joy of singing with your child! Comfort you child, create memories, while also helping with language development.