How music and dance can help your child's development

  • Date: 13 July 2017
  • Category: General
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We all know that music and dancing are fun activities. Children love to move around and make noise, but did you know it’s also an important part of their development? Dancing, singing and playing music are part of a child’s process of growing up and learning what their bodies can do. It also teaches children how to interact with other people, objects and the world around them.

What happens when a child sings or dances?

According to the QLD Department of Education and Training, regular movement experiences help children to develop movement control, coordination and strength. The DET have put together a tip sheet on the importance of getting children moving, unstructured play and playing music, and ways to help your child do these activities.

Children begin to make sense of sounds before they leave the womb and the first response to it is through movement of their body.

When a child dances, they learn about how their body can move. They experiment with travelling motions such as walking, sliding and jumping, as well as other movements like twisting, bobbing and bending. Dancing uses different muscles than simply standing and walking around does, which strengthens them. Through dance, children learn to coordinate and control their bodies and the movement helps them develop spatial awareness.

If children are copying an adult or learning a set dance such as ‘the chicken dance’, their listening and understanding skills will be improved. They will also begin to pay more attention to others sharing the space.

Singing is one way children can understand language and sound. Through singing, they will improve their vocabulary and communication skills. Rhyming in songs provides exercise for the brain and develops valuable memory skills. We all learned our ABC’s through a song! Singing also improves lung function and increases blood flow.

Why your child should play music

When creating music children become much more engaged than when they just listen. Singing and using instruments boosts their creativity and can easily be done in groups to improve their social skills and help them bond with others. You don’t need to send your child to structured music lessons to get the benefits. You can buy great children’s musical instruments like a glockenspiel that they can bang on to their hearts content, or create your own for a fun family craft activity! All it takes is some rice inside a container to make a shaker, or an ice cream tub for a drum.

Playing music, singing and dancing is extremely important for children’s self-expression. Children can’t always communicate their feelings through words, so it’s useful for them to have a healthy outlet for their emotions.

Get your child singing, dancing and playing music. It will benefit their development in so many ways and you’ll both be sure to have fun too!

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