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Music Builds Awesome Brains + Join us on Music Monday!

Encouraging a child's love of music can lead to a lifetime of joyful songs. It's serious fun!

Music Builds Awesome Brains + Join us on Music Monday!

Parents often enjoy sharing music with children. We hum treasured lullabies from the first moments we hold our babies. As children grow, they bring us into dance parties and silly songs of their own making, creating instruments from any household object they can get their little hands on. We now know that in addition to being fun, music helps children develop math, language and reading skills, all while encouraging physical activity. Participating with peers and parents when making music helps children develop social skills.

Research has confirmed what parents and educators see everyday: music helps kids learn. A five-year study from the The Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) at the University of Southern California found that early music experiences, specifically learning to play an instrument, accelerate brain development in young children. The children who received music instruction showed strengths in language development, speech perception and reading skills. They were able to identify differences and similarities in melodies, showing increased maturity in the part of the brain that processes sound.

Tapping into the brain benefits of music doesn't have to mean dropping cash on an instrument and lessons. At home, a great way to play with music is to collect everyday objects from around the house to make instruments: pots and pans, plastic bottles and food containers, boxes, blocks, sticks—anything that is safe for your child to play with and can make an interesting sound. Rub the objects together, tap them with spoons, sing, dance and be silly. Introduce your favorite songs alongside your child's old favorites. Change words to songs your child knows (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Kangaroo!) to get your child laughing. Seeing you having fun with music is a great way to encourage your child to enjoy songs.

Outside the home, seek out new musical experiences to enjoy together. In recognition of the valuable role of music in the lives of young children, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is celebrating Music Monday on April 16, 2018 during their annual Week of the Young Child. Locally, the Kansas Children's Discovery Center and community partners are hosting a free outdoor concert that evening. Please join us!

Encouraging a child's love of music can lead to a lifetime of joyful songs. It's serious fun!