The importance of music for children

  • Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2013 12:01 a.m.

SALISBURY — Have you ever noticed how much young children gravitate to music? Did you know that by listening to music with your child at an early age you are helping them develop essential pre-literacy skills?

Researchers have found that music is linked to increased phonological awareness, language development, vocabulary, problem solving, reasoning and recall which enables your child to develop the basic skills necessary to become better readers and learners.

Early on, children learn from listening to their parents talk to each other or other adults. When they listen to music they are listening to new words and vocabulary that they might not hear from their parents. Toddler music, such as “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” fosters the ability for children to actively listen and follow instructions, an important skill needed when they start school.

The benefits of music at this age extends to math, as well. Many toddler songs feature numbers and counting, such as “The Ants Go Marching” or “Five Green and Speckled Frogs.” The rhythm and beat of the music invites a child to clap hands, stamp feet and use rhythm instruments while encouraging the development of pre-math skills.

The art of music is very similar to storytelling. Songs follow a storyline and usually have a chorus and/or repetitive phrases that encourage children to sing along and become active participants. Singing is one of the best ways for children to play with sounds and develop phonological awareness. Singing provides an opportunity for children to manipulate sounds by blending them together and breaking them apart. Hearing and understanding sound is a crucial component of becoming a good reader.

These are just a few reasons why music is such an integral part of storytime at Rowan Public Library. We incorporate fun and exciting ways to sing our favorite books. It is amazing how many stories can be sung to the tune of the “Farmer in the Dell” or “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Did you realize that the tune for the “Alphabet Song” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” are one and the same?

Here at Rowan Public Library, we encourage parents to develop a routine of reading books and singing songs with their child on a daily basis. The Children’s Room offers a small collection of toddler and baby music for checkout. Bottom line: Pop in one of your child’s favorite music CDs while driving down the road and bask in the assurance that you are helping your child in their journey to become a reader and a lifelong learner.

Book Bites Club: South (only), Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., “The Deep End of the Ocean” by Jacquelyn Mitchard. Book discussion groups for adults and children meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information, please call 704-216-8229.

Library closing: Aug. 31-Sept. 2, all RPL locations closed for the Labor Day holiday. Regular hours resume Sept. 3 at 9 a.m.

Displays for August: headquarters, anime by Robert Clyde Allen; South, lunchboxes with ‘50s and ‘60s memorabilia; East, photo display by Bonnie Cagle.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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