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The Importance of Music and Movement

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Just as learning the alphabet, colours and shapes, are important steps in the beginning of a young child’s development; so is incorporating music, movement and rhythm.

There is growing research that indicates a “window of opportunity” from birth to age nine for critical brain development. During this time, the mental structures and mechanisms associated with processing and understanding are in the prime stages of development.

Mental capacity and intellect – A recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience by Dr. Nina Kraus shows a relationship between neural response consistency and ability to keep a beat. The study – the first to provide biological evidence linking the ability to keep a beat to the neural encoding of speech sounds – has significant implications for reading. There are hundreds of similar studies easily found online.

Mastery of the physical – Children develop coordination to the extreme when they are moving, crouching, stepping to the beat, or learning to play a beat on an instrument.

Self-expression and creativity – Through music and movement, children learn acceptable and creative outlets in order to express their feelings. Playing instruments can spark creativity; a drum can become a lion stalking their prey; a xylophone can become a bird singing in a tree; children can make up their own songs and lyrics to express themselves positively.

Editorial submitted by Addison Music Learning Centre, Oakville

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