Music

In keeping with the series on light psychology I’ve been doing, I spent some time considering the value of music recently. The concept that music is good for babies isn’t a new one. We’ve all heard about the studies showing that classical music has a positive effect on children–even if we know now that those studies had some major flaws. However, a more recent study has demonstrated the value of musical instruction even in very young children.

It was no mistake that one of my earliest posts was a review of a music album. Music is universal and one of the oldest activities humans do–maybe that’s why it’s unsurprising that children love music so much. Sam is no exception! He loves hearing music at church, singing songs at home, listening to CDs in the car. Recently, a friend came to our house and played guitar for a while, which he adored!

Music is useful for so many different things–relaxation, excitement, catharsis, and much more. However, right now I’m most interested in the educational properties of music. I remember as a child learning many things through music. The alphabet, my home address and phone number, aspects of safety, and more were all taught to me through music; through songs that I still remember and can sing.

I fully plan on teaching Sam many of the same songs that my parents used to teach me valuable things, but I also intend to make sure he receives music lessons–and I might even join him. I have wished for years that I could play a musical instrument, something I wish I had not resisted when I was given music lessons in childhood.

I think we already bond through music. We enjoy singing together, and I hope we will continue to do so. Music fills a void in us. Fred Rogers, a major hero of mine, says this:

Music is the one art we all have inside. We may not be able to play an instrument, but we can sing along or clap or tap our feet. Have you ever seen a baby bouncing up and down in the crib in time to some music? When you think of it, some of that baby’s first messages from his or her parents may have been lullabies, or at least the music of their speaking voices. All of us have had the experience of hearing a tune from childhood and having that melody evoke a memory or a feeling. The music we hear early on tends to stay with us all our lives.

Share some music with your child, and give them a song for the rest of their lives.

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