Music and the Brain

Posted by on Jun 23, 2014 in Blog | 6,159 Comments

Infants toddlers and preschoolers love music, all kinds of music.

It can affect mood, energy level, even appetite. Music can signal transitions “This is the way we clean the room…” and rituals (lullabies and other bedtime music comes to mind).

Similar to picking up language, in the early years they are likely to develop their taste in music based on what they are exposed to.

Music and dance lessons are ways to expand music appreciation but here are a few ways to simply bring a variety of music styles into your child’s (and yours) world:

  • Free summer concerts– our local summer series can be found here: http://grandhavenchamber.org/community-events/
  • Cable Music Channels– These channels tend to feature popular music of the genre (hip hop/classic rock/adult contemporary/classic country etc.) so you get a taste of “the best”. Break out of your comfort zone every once in a while and see if you find a new favorite.
  • Library – I recognize that the library is a recurring theme of mine but you can’t beat free! The library gives you a chance to check out a wide variety of music with no out of pocket costs. Plus you can skip around. You can’t do that with the first two options!

A Couple of Notes and Cautions:

Scan Button on the Radio– This is an option that I use myself when I’m looking for something new but it can be a wild card. Lyrics and commentaries that pop up are out of context and come without warning. What you hear may be inappropriate for young ears.

Silence– Be aware that sound all of the time is not all it’s cracked up to be. Just as your eyes need blank spaces on walls and other places to “rest”, your ears need a rest from input as well. Be aware of how often you have “background” sounds going, music or otherwise and intentionally make time for silence.

What musical surprises have you and your family found? Let us know and we’ll give a listen!