In the Elsternwick Rainbow Room at Music Works Magic, music education for children from newborn through to school age is based on the understanding that music is a journey which has so many benefits to offer the growing brain, and not a race to be run and won.
Music is Innate
Humans are all born with an innate and natural response to music. In fact, even before a child learns to speak they learn to respond with sound and song. Just take a moment to listen to a young baby on their mat, or in their cot, and you will hear them singing to themselves and exploring the range of their voice long before they understand speech or can sing songs.
Back in the Melbourne based Music Works Magic Rainbow Room, children from birth and up to school age are encouraged to explore their natural musical response and find their very own beautiful singing voice through active participation, involving comprehensive sensory experiences. Research has continuously shown that when a child physically engages with and is the creator of music, as opposed to just listening to music, there is a profound positive effect on their brain development.
There is no doubt that learning to sing, move and dance certainly builds musical intelligence. This is the ability to perceive, distinguish, transform and express sounds and musical forms. More specifically, musical intelligence allows us to create, communicate and gather musical meaning – to think sound. This also encompasses an understanding of rhythms, melodies and tones within a piece of music.
Building More Than Just Musical Intelligence
Learning to sing, move and dance through musical play doesn’t just create future musicians and music lovers though. Beyond the development of musical intelligence, music classes like those delivered at Music Works Magic, support a child’s brain development in so many more positive ways.
Moving and dancing while singing through musical play helps to develop spatial intelligence by enhancing both body kinesthetic and physical awareness. Music classes also help to develop both gross and fine motor skills through the incorporation of dance and movement, as well as the use of small percussion instruments, puppets and props such as scarves, ribbons and parachutes.
By learning to use the full range of their vocal chords through musical play and vocalisation, young babies and toddlers are also developing the muscles involved with eating and speaking. The introduction of songs with lyrics then helps to enhance a young child’s linguistic intelligence by building a repertoire of vocabulary, often in a variety of spoken languages including their native tongue.
Exploring rhythm, beat and musical timing while singing with movement and dance also enhances a child’s development of pattern recognition. Action songs with lyrics such as, “we shake and we shake and we shake and we stop…” support logical mathematical and numerical intelligence which is known to be so important for overall future academic success.
Any baby or young child involved in active music education which involves exploring their own voice, making their own music with the inclusion of movement and dance, even in their own lounge-room, will experience the brain development benefits so far discussed. Joining a group music class however, provides the added benefit of emboldening social intelligence.
Music is Always Better with Friends
The children joining classes in the Rainbow Room have the opportunity to experience important social practices such as taking turns, waiting with patience, sharing, watching others have a go, listening for directions, and so much more. In addition to being exposed to these valuable life lessons, the joy of singing in a group adds to the creation of a true sense of community, which is so important for each of us as human beings.
While the 40 minutes of music class time at Music Works Magic each week provides so many wonderful benefits to the developing brain, we encourage all our parents and carers to continue the music making throughout the week to exponentially increase their child’s musical, linguistic, numeric and spatial intelligence.
Music Each and Every Day
Playing with our voices each and every day, singing and vocalising with each other, and listening to music that is pitched up high so that short vocal cords are easily able to emulate the sounds, immerses our children in the language of music and music making. This not only reinforces the learning acquired during group music class, but also increases all the benefits to young brain development which we have discussed above.
In this way, Music Works Magic students build a set of extemely strong foundations for life-long learning, as well as a life-long love for music. Not to mention that singing and dancing adds so much fun to your every day!