I think we all know how beneficial learning to play an instrument is, but what about the act of listing to music itself? Many of us listen to our tunes in our free time or in the background as we work or study, but what is the impact on the developing minds of children?
Now generally considered invalid, The Mozart Effect boasted a connection between music and cognitive development. Parents around the globe were being encouraged to play classical music, specifically Mozart, to their babies in an effort to make them smarter (essentially). Research now shows there is no difference in intelligence when this is done.
But music offers a wide range of benefits, outside of cognitive development, to children of all ages:
The listening of popular music is important to the socialization of children
Positive music can help relax and improve a child’s mood.
Upbeat music can give them the energy to face stressful situations.
Music can act as an outlet for personal identity development and expression
Music can celebrate and share their emotions
It’s important to let your child listen and enjoy music for all of the above reasons. Many children’s programs, like In The Mix, use music in their activities to connect with children and provide enjoyment in completing an activity or participating in an event.
Participation can increase even further if the selection of music is also given to children. Although, to avoid disagreement around suitability we’d recommend reviewing the selections being offered.
Barring personal tastes, a few popular (and ‘safe’) adult songs to play and singalong to are:
Fireworks (Katy Perry)
I’m Only Me When I’m with You (Taylor Swift)
Stronger (Kelly Clarkson)
Good Feeling (Flo Rida)
Steal My Kisses (Ben Harper)
Happy (Pharrell Williams)
Rip Tide (Vance Joy)
Rather Be (Clean Bandit)
This Too Shall Pass (OK GO)
La La La La Lemon (Barenaked Ladies)
There are also cover songs by bands that can make the song more tolerable for adults such as:
And in fact, many bands have done entire children’s albums too, like Def Leppard or Johnny Cash)!
It’s always wise to know what your kids are listening to – and what is being played around them. And just because the songs are appropriate doesn’t mean the videos are. However, you can do a cursory look to see what general thoughts are around the music here (https://www.commonsensemedia.org/) because depending on the age of the child they may be ready for more grown up content.
For additional reading on this subject, you can check out the following:
In The Mix Program offers Yoga and Hip Hop dance classes for children across Southern Ontario. To learn more or find a class near you, visit www.inthemixprogram.com