How important is music for children? Baby and family

Children who sing, dance or just experiment with sounds will benefit from it for a lifetime. Like parents small bring the world of music closer

Children love sound experiments – and benefit from them

If musician Christian W. grabs the strings for his daughter Hannah, there’s no stopping them. Immediately, the little one turns cheerfully in a circle and begins to sing. "Your good mood is infectious", says Mama Tanja and takes part, even though she thinks that she is actually not musical at all.

How music affects children

"Children love it when parents sing with them no matter how they do it", says Dr. Gunter Kreutz from the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg. The professor of music very much regrets that fewer and fewer families are making music together. Not just because of singing "Concentrated feed for children’s brains" is how the neurobiologist Professor Gerald Hüther puts it. Three researchers from Bielefeld University showed years ago that children who regularly sing have found it easier to start school. Singing promotes language acquisition and the development of logical-mathematical understanding happy and helps reduce aggression.

Babies are born with astonishing musicality. A potential that, as Gunter Kreutz confirms, should definitely be promoted: "Singing together to everyday rituals, with parents and in kindergarten – these are essential life experiences. In fact, they have almost more non-musical than musical effects."

Making music promotes social behavior

According to his study with the social scientist Professor Michael Feldhaus, singing and playing music, for example, has a very positive influence on family life. The parents evaluate their children’s social behavior better, the relationship between them is more familiar than in other families. It is not important to hit the right notes or to pursue other musical performance ideas. Rather it is about perception, eye contact, joint movement and – above all – joy in music.

Classic children’s songs as a bridge between generations

Jonah undoubtedly has joy. On Tuesday, he can hardly wait: it starts at ten o’clock "music garden"-Course, a program for early musical education, from baby to preschool. After a year and a half "music garden" Jonah is practically a professional. He knows exactly what to do as soon as trainer Doris Goetz buzzes a song, asks the participants to dance in a circle or pulls out the box with rattles, bells and sound sticks. Then Jonah claps or taps the specified measure.

Babies of just under a year react to the music. "They learn a lot from their parents, learn through observation, imitation and endless repetition", explains the trainer. She is keen to give parents and grandparents a kind of treasure chest full of suggestions for everyday life. For example, a knee-rider for the morning, which makes a positive start to the day in kindergarten, or a song to which mom and dad rock their child in a blanket when everyone is back home. Classic children’s songs also belong to Doris Goetz’s repertoire. She appreciates them for their beautiful language and because they are a bridge between the generations.

Movement stimulation for music and movement

Drumming, moving to music together or simply listening to the sounds: the video by the Baden-Württemberg Children’s Gymnastics Foundation shows how parents can integrate music and rhythm into their young lives early on.


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Christina Cherry
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