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That the little ones enjoy music from a very young age, is nothing new. Surely you have seen them move their hips instinctively to the sound of it when they began to take their first steps or you have heard them hum the melody and insert some semi-intelligible word when they began to speak.
Apart from the enjoyment of listening to it, in both cases the benefits of music are evident as a stimulator of motor skills and speech. But music and music learning have multiple benefits that are not so evident and that are manifested in a multitude of areas during the development of the little ones, both at a sensory and motor level as well as at an intellectual, psychological and sociological level.
1. More attention, memory and concentration. To sing a song or play an instrument, the child previously has to perform an exercise in active listening, which develops his capacity for attention, memory and concentration.
2. Literacy. By singing a song, and not only humming the melody, the literacy stage is stimulated since they improve the way of speaking through the repetition of verses and rhymes, also learning the meaning of the words.
3. Psychomotor development. If the song is accompanied by a dance, psychomotor development is stimulated through different body movements.
4. Development of fine motor skills. This also happens when learning to play an instrument, since for example they must learn to use their hands if they are learning to play the piano or any other stringed instrument (such as the guitar or the violin).
5. Development of the respiratory mechanism. Some instruments require the child to use the mouth and the respiratory mechanism, as is the case with any wind instrument (such as the flute), or the coordination of arms, hands, legs and feet when learning drums or percussion.
4. Self-confidence. On the other hand, by sharing a song with their peers, children develop confidence and emotional security, social skills through collaboration and are formed in mutual respect and tolerance when listening to others.
5. Facilitates learning of mathematics and languages. Something very interesting is that it facilitates the learning of mathematics and languages. In the first case, it happens because logic and mathematics are essential to understand and keep up. In the case of languages, it occurs not only because of what we mentioned about the development of memory, but because the ear is educated to distinguish variations in sounds.
And all this is further enhanced when they learn to play an instrument, reading a sheet music where they have to 'translate' the musical notations (notes, note figures, clef, etc.) as if they were reading another alphabet.
6. Transmits values and encourages creativity. In the case of learning an instrument, they also develop creativity through experimentation, perseverance through effort and constant work, self-esteem through small advances, and motivation and perfectionism when they begin to have a certain control over the instrument.
7. Helps them channel their emotions. But above all, both music and their learning allow them to channel their emotions, express their feelings, feel happier and communicate with their peers in a simple and harmonious way. What more could you want?
Inés Saavedra. Singer and composer of children's songs of the World 'Epi epi A'
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