Playing classical music like Beethoven and Mozart for your little ones can have a positive impact on early development. Kids can improve general listening skills, focus, and concentration. If you tune into the classics, your kids’ health may benefit immensely.
Researchers at the Institute of Education at the University of London evaluated whether a classical music program developed by the Apollo Music Projects impacted kids’ health. Susan Hallam, a researcher and professor at the school followed 4,500 kids from 26 primary schools in London. In all, 26 members of staff and 252 children from nine primary schools were questioned about the program. Teachers contended that listening to classical music boosted kid’s concentration levels as well as self discipline, personal and social skills, aspirations, and development.
One teacher said on The Daily Mail: ‘The children really enjoy the sessions. I think that listening to music in such an intimate environment (ie the classroom) engages them and allows them to develop their listening skills.” Another said that pupils’ communication skills improved.
Professor Hallam said children developed “enhanced listening skills and the development of other skills necessary for careful listening to take place including concentration and self-discipline. She added: “For some of the children the program was inspirational. The children’s positive reactions suggest that they were ‘open-eared’ and had not developed prejudices against classical music.”
Music has been shown to prime the brains of kids and adults alike for specific kinds of thinking. Classical music pathways in the brain make it easier for us to use spatial reasoning, for example, putting a puzzle together faster than normal. Classical music has a more complex structure than other forms of music. Babies as young as 3 months old can pick out the structure and even recognize tunes that they’ve heard before.
Introducing kids to classical music at a young age may positively impact their development. If parents play music themselves, they should consider practicing it in front of their kids or start their kids on music lessons at a young age. And maybe even more importantly, as budgets are continually cut in school systems across the country, parents should continue to advocate for music in our kid’s schools.
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