The Benefits Of Incorporating Music In The Early Childhood Classroom
The Benefits of Incorporating Music in the Early Childhood Classroom
“Repeat after me: A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K. L. M. N. O. P. Q. R. S. T. U. V. W. X. Y. Z...” Imagine a group of 20 four-year-old children learning their ABCs by listing off the letters in a monotonous chant. The children would not be able to focus for more than a few seconds, and it would be torture for them to get through the entire alphabet. Before any child has a clue what the letters of the alphabet look like, they can sing some form of an ABC song. Not only is music fun for children, but music enhances memory skills and retention and language development. The benefits of the exposure and incorporation of music in early childhood begins from before birth and continues throughout the rest of the child’s life.
The benefits of one’s exposure to music begin before a child is even born, for the ability to speak and hear language begins before birth. In the article, An Historical Commentary on the Physiological Effects of Music: Tomatis, Mozart and Neuropsychology, the results of a study conducted by Dr. Alfred Tomatis are explored. As early as 23 days old, a fetus can detect sound by feeling the vibrations. Dr. Alfred Tomatis used fiber optic cameras to observe the movement of the fetus in regard to sound. Though the particular muscle moved varied in each child, each time the same phoneme was sounded, the same muscle responded. This sensory-motor response allows the fetus to begin learning language in utero. This information suggests that prenatal exposure to music can be used to enhance a baby’s development, and “perhaps alleviate or minimize some developmental delays” (Campbell, 2000).
After a baby is born, each component of music affects a different part of their brain. Dr. Alfred Tomatis found that a familiar song activates the left frontal lobe, timbre the right frontal lobe,...