Our early years help to shape who we are later in life. This development can be bolstered through various means, but the ones we at Babies Dance think are most vital are Music and Dance. By reading through the information below, we hope to illustrate the benefits of our program and how it can help your child throughout their developmental years.
Benefits of Music
Infants will usually recognise the melody of a song long before they understand the words. Mimicry and motion in response to music is also quite common. In short, music plays an important role throughout our early years and helps to develop relevant motor and interpersonal skills.
Humans have a unique ability to coordinate movements in relation to music (you may have noticed it yourself, tapping your feet subconsciously in tune to your favourite song) This type of behaviour has drawn attention from scholars from across multiple disciplines, and through their research into it, they discovered some amazing things in regards to our early developmental years.
– Music helps to increase sensory development
Just as exposing a child to various foods, colours and shapes helps improve the relevant senses, so to can music. Exposure to different types of music can help create more pathways between brain cells, and this effect is increased exponentially when tying music to different activities, such as dancing.
– Music can improve literacy and numeracy
From an early age, babies can hear the difference between different types of sounds. After a few weeks, they can identify their mother’s voice from other people’s. Exposure to music helps to enhance a child’s natural ability to decode various sounds and words, identify patterns through repetition and how to put the patterns in sequence. By mastering these skills, they instinctively build and shape their base understanding of literacy and numeracy.
– Music is a mood lifter
Plenty of parents know that a gentle melody or lullaby can help calm their little one down, or prepare them for a good night’s rest. In the same way it helps to soothe, music can also lift their spirits.
– Music helps to build coordination
Even if they can’t understand the lyrics, our little ones can definitely move to the rhythm of the music. You may have already noticed this yourself, and even seen how they may like/dislike certain pieces of music more than others. Music encourages children’s innate inclination to move, helping to develop motor skills, plus if the rhythm is especially entertaining, they may start jumping up and down, helping improve muscle development, strength and balance.
– Music can help develop their vocabulary
Even if they can’t understand the words in a song or nursery rhyme, babies can develop their understanding by identifying the storytelling in a song. For example, the ABC song, where many children think the “L-M-N-O-P” sequence is actually a word “elemenopee”. As they grow, they start to realise that it’s not a word, but in fact, a sequence of sounds, each sound being a distinct letter.
Benefits of Dance
Dance is a powerful ally in your child’s early years, helping develop the many attributes of a growing child. It helps them mature physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively. The physical benefits have long been accepted, but the other three aspects have only recently begun to have been appreciated.
– Physical Development
Dance involves a great range of motion, coordination, strength and endurance than most other physical activities. This is accomplished through patterns that teach coordination and help improve kinesthetic memory (their ability to learn by doing) Dancing utilises the entire body and is an excellent way to improve total body fitness, this is true for both the child and for adults as well.
– Emotional Maturity
Dance promotes healthy psychological development and maturity. Children naturally enjoy any opportunity to express their emotions and become aware of themselves and of others through creative movement. A pre-school aged child enters a dance class with a wide history of emotional experiences. Movement within such a class offers them a structured outlet for physical expression while also helping them gain an awareness and appreciation of oneself and others.
– Social Awareness
Dance helps to foster social encounters, interaction, and cooperation. Children learn to communicate ideas to others through movement, and can quickly learn to work within a set group dynamic. As the ongoing and sometimes, challenging, process of cooperation evolves, children learn to understand themselves in relation to others.
– Cognitive Development
Children will create movement spontaneously when presented with certain ideas or problems that can solved with a movement response. Movement in this case, provides a “thought loop” between the idea, problem, or intent and the resulting outcome. This kind of problem solving helps an infant develop skills that they’ll ultimately need in later stages of life to understand the wider world