February 15, 2017

The Music Connection: Why Singing Is a Healthy Activity for Kids

Singing and song time is an enjoyable part of early childhood education, but you might not fully realize just how much music—especially singing—can influence your child’s brain development and educational experience.

Here are a few of the unique benefits that your child will enjoy when he or she spends time singing in the classroom and at home.

Improved Memory

Have you ever had a catchy tune stuck in your head? Music, especially lyrics set to an easy tune, has a way of tapping the memory center of your brain. In preschool and daycare, singing can help children improve their capacity for learning. Music also serves as a mnemonic device for certain skills and knowledge. For example, when music is involved, your child will have an easier time with:

Learning the alphabet. Many children can sing the alphabet before even learning the meaning of each letter.

Learning a second language. Songs in a second language will help your child remember correct pronunciation.

Counting and remembering mathematical functions of all sorts. Adding becomes easy when the first few numbers in the sequence are set to song.
Additionally, if your child sings a song as they learn a new skill, the skill will be easier to repeat later—music can improve muscle memory. As a basic example, many toddlers do better with remembering to go to the potty when if the ritual of going to the bathroom includes a song. When they have to go, they might then begin to sing the potty song before even reaching the bathroom.

Increased Social Interaction

Singing together with other children is one of the first community-building exercises your child will experience. It takes work to listen to the words others are singing and to follow along with the lyrics to the end of the song.

Singing as a group fosters a feeling of learning together—especially when songs express a goal. A common example is the “cleanup” song: “Cleanup, cleanup, everybody everywhere!” This song immediately conveys the task at hand, and when every sings together as they cleanup, each child is focusing on “doing his or her share,” as the song instructs.

Increased Vocabulary

Some children struggle to understand and pronounce new words. Other children might be afraid to speak in front of others. Singing is the bridge that can help these students improve. Songs teach new words, especially songs that build on themselves. For example, “London Bridge is Falling Down” features a new tool in every verse for children to learn about.

Songs also naturally teach prepositions, locations, and words that rhyme. All of these factors come together to help your child’s language development improve when enjoying regular singing.

Improved Health

Finally, research shows that singing out loud can actually promote physical health benefits for children. Singing can have the following positive effects:

Calming. The act of singing requires mental concentration and can help the brain recall a calmer state. A simple song can help a toddler come out of a tantrum or help them forget sadness briefly as they sing a comforting tune.

Reduced stress. Singing improves your breathing. Children who sing have slower resting heartbeats and a larger lung capacity, reducing physical stress signals.

Improved body awareness. Children like to sing action songs—they make hand gestures (“If You’re Happy and You Know It”) and follow directions (“The Hokey Pokey”). Moving to musical queues improves coordination and helps children remain active at school, improving their concentration during more rigorous academia.
The benefits of singing in school cannot be stated enough. If your child is learning new songs at daycare, preschool, or in after school programs, encourage at-home practice to solidify the results.

For more information about aspects of exceptional childcare and education, contact us at Kid’s Country Child Care & Learning Center.