For almost all toddlers, music is an essential part of growing up. Whether they enjoy their parents’ singing or tap their feet and throw their hands in excitement when listening to the rhythms of their nursery rhymes, these little ones simply love music. Though parents may not often plan to introduce their children to music early one, doing so could help the little ones a lot. In fact, music can do a lot more than merely entertaining these toddlers.

The human brain and music – What’s the connection?

Music can expose your child to “a rich sensory setting.” What this means is that early introduction to music would expose the child to an extensive array of sounds, smells, tastes, colors, and textures. And all these experiences together can create more pathways between their brain cells. These neural connections will help the child in almost every part of his/her school – be it studies or activities. Though just listening to music can help forge such connections, the biggest impact is noticed in children with active participation in musical activities.

According to a 2016 study conducted at the Brain and Creativity Institute of the University of Southern California, musical experiences in childhood were found to boost brain development, principally in the areas of reading skills and language acquisition. The NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation says that learning to play an instrument can help one improve mathematical learning and even have better SAT scores.

But music education isn’t just about academic achievements. Rather, it brings overall benefits for a child. It can help the little one become school-ready, which includes improving his/her social-emotional, language, motor, intellectual, and overall literacy skills. Music can also help the mind and body work together in partnership apart from boosting mood, mental alertness, and memory.

When you expose your child to music early on, he/she would learn the sounds and meanings of words quite easily. Encouraging the little one to dance to music would help build motor skills while encouraging him/her to become confident in self-expression.

You can introduce your toddlers to children’s music that comes with appealing rhymes and rhythms along with some fun corresponding movements. As they become older, you could introduce them to popular as well as classical music. Slowly, you can encourage them to explore various genres like pop, hip-hop, jazz, rock, and even see which genre or instrument appeals to them the most. Based on his/her preference, you can then get the child enrolled in a music class to set him/her on the path to a lifetime of musical enjoyment and growth.