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How Encouraging Your Child to Play Music Could Be a Game Changer in Their Literacy Development
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Charles created HealingSounds. He believes in the power of music and sound as a healing tool. He is based in San Antonio, Texas.
Few people would argue against the importance of literacy in child development. Learning to read and write is a central part of school — and rightfully so. However, literacy is more than reading and writing. Verbal communication is just as important because it determines how well a child can apply what they learn on paper to their everyday conversations.
That is where music can play a vital role in your child’s education. Creating a space in the home for your child to learn and play music can help them learn how to distinguish between different sounds, become better listeners, increase their vocabulary, and improve their confidence.
Know That Your Child Will Need a Music Space
Before we get into the reasons music can help in child literacy, consider what you need to do to make a room at home for your child that encourages and facilitates their growth in music. You first want to make sure they have all the materials they need to succeed. Generally speaking, they will need their instrument, an instrument stand, a music stand (for their sheet music), a way to hear music (music device, headphones, CD player, etc.), a comfortable chair, and so on.
You also want to make sure there is enough space to where your child can have all their equipment and materials within reach and still comfortably play their instrument. Furthermore, depending on the size of your home, you may want to consider soundproofing the room. HomeAdvisor estimates that homeowners pay an average of $1,744 to soundproof a room.
Music Fosters Auditory Discrimination
Auditory discrimination — or being able to distinguish between sounds — is paramount in learning to read. That is, a child must learn how to organize the sounds they hear in a phoneme, syllable, word, and phrase to make sense of what they are reading. Song structure is similar to reading in the sense that it requires children to recognize, remember, and respond to sounds and the order in which they occur.
Music Promotes Better Listening
Your child may hear a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean they’re listening. As mentioned with auditory discrimination, listening is required to make sense of words when learning to read. However, like with adults, it is not always easy for children to listen when they are surrounded by constant distractions. Music activities and songs require your child to sharpen their focus and hone in on the rhythm, speed, and pitch of the movements, which can help develop their listening and attention skills in other areas.
Music Expands Vocabulary
One of the more evident benefits of music in literacy development is that it can significantly increase your child’s vocabulary. When your child recites songs over and over at a very young age, the words in those songs are ingrained in their minds, and this can provide a solid foundation on which to build their vocabulary, as well as instill a desire in them to consistently improve their vocabulary.
Music Boosts Confidence
Learning and playing music also tends to improve a child’s confidence and self-esteem. It takes practice and perseverance to learn musical numbers and songs, and when your child pushes through, their sense of accomplishment fosters confidence, which can translate into other areas of life and subjects at school. Even the most reserved of kids may show a certain swagger when executing a song correctly on their instrument!
Getting your child into music could be one of the best things you do for their literacy and overall development. It helps children distinguish between different sounds, develop listening skills, and improve their vocabulary. Plus, everything is more fun with music, and it can give them a confidence boost that can benefit them for the rest of their lives. Consider music for your child, and get started on creating that music room!
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