The Big Picture

The Little Gym Blog
We all know the impact music can have on our moods: We often find ourselves suddenly dancing in the
kitchen or singing in the car when one of our favorite songs plays on the radio. Or maybe one feels a
sense of peace when one hears a particular melody.

Research has shown that music does more than help us feel a certain way – it impacts our physical,
mental, and emotional health. Music is a great coping tool for children too – It can help during a time of
transition, reduce stress, and create a bonding experience. Creating a musical home is very easy – and
intuitive as it the common practice is for parents to sing a lullaby to a baby or sing a silly song with a
toddler. This introduction to music opens the door to a lifelong love of music for the child.

Children and parents don’t need to be musically gifted to take advantage of the health benefits of music.
Dancing to a favorite song is a fun way to lighten moods and get heart rates up. Teaching tunes to
toddlers is an effective way to help them remember simple lessons – just remember the alphabet song
one learnt as a child!

It has been scientifically proven that listening to music releases endorphins: the brain’s “feel-good”;
chemicals. If your child is feeling cranky or dragging his feet to complete a chore, try turning on some
music to get energy levels up. And watch his mood change!

Music helps children express emotions and create a shared experience. Share a favorite song with your
child and ask him / her to do the same. Regularly sharing music can provide insight into how your child –
especially teens – are feeling.

Research has shown that rhythm and melodies help our brains form patterns to improve memory. Music
can improve memory, recall and attention. One study found that structured music lessons can improve
language-based reasoning, short-term memory, planning and inhibition. It can also improve children’s
visual and spatial memory, underscoring the benefits of playing a musical instrument.

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