While many children can express themselves easily from age three and up, many others might still find it challenging. When that happens, parents might wonder what they can do to help, or if there are any habits they can adopt that will support their child’s language development. Fortunately, there are steps you can take—and some of them are even fun! Singing and dancing along to music are two activities you can add to your routine right away.
The research on music, songs and language development in children
The Cognitive Brain Research Unit from the Institute of Behavioural Sciences at the University of Helsinki looked into the relationship between at-home musical activities (as reported by parents) and auditory skill development in children aged two and three (assessed by measuring their neurological responses). Auditory skills include auditory discrimination—telling sounds apart—and the ability to pay attention. Their research showed that there is a significant, positive correlation between the number of informal musical activities at home and children’s auditory discrimination and attention skills (Putkinen, Saarikivi et al., 2013; Putkinen, Tervaniemi et al., 2013).
By coincidence, a transatlantic research team looked into the link between informal musical activities in household settings and how they affected the development of music and language skills in children aged three and four (Politimou, Dalla Bella, Farrugia and Franco, 2019). Researchers also had parents of preschool-aged children fill out a questionnaire, then assessed their children’s musical and language skills using behavioural measurements (Music@Home; Politimou, Stewart, Müllensiefen and Franco, 2018). The results of this research show that informal musical activities are positively associated with the development of musical abilities in children, and can also positively influence children’s language development skills.
Singing and dancing together can help your child’s language development!
This research shows that musical activities like singing and dancing together can be a great addition to your family routine, even at a very young age. It can help your kids develop their abilities to perceive and discriminate between sounds, which in turn helps their language development. Plus, we’re not going to lie: it’s fun! Let loose, spend some quality time together as a family, and get your kid more interested in music!
Politimou, N., Dalla Bella, S., Farrugia, N., & Franco, F. (2019). Born to Speak and Sing : Musical Predictors of Language Development in Pre-schoolers. Frontiers in Psychology, 10. Ariane Articles. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00948
Politimou, N., Stewart, L., Müllensiefen, D., & Franco, F. (2018). Music@Home : A novel instrument to assess the home musical environment in the early years. PLoS ONE, 13(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0193819
Putkinen, V., Saarikivi, K., & Tervaniemi, M. (2013). Do informal musical activities shape auditory skill development in preschool-age children? Frontiers in Psychology, 4. Ariane Articles. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00572
Putkinen, V., Tervaniemi, M., & Huotilainen, M. (2013). Informal musical activities are linked to auditory discrimination and attention in 2–3-year-old children : An event-related potential study. European Journal of Neuroscience, 37(4), 654-661. Ariane Articles. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.12049
You’re curious and you want to help children benefit from the positive aspects of music?
Mazaam offers two solutions: