Music & childhood development
We cornered Shona Sanosi of Blue House International to get the low-down on the role of music in childhood development:
1. Why is music important for childhood development? Music is a language that children use to express themselves. Exposing children to the joys of music can benefit them in many development areas – pre-literacy & language skills, emotional and social skills, fine motor & hand and eye co-ordination etc. The list is endless….
2. What should parents look out for when they are trying to find a great music class? You and your child need to feel happy and comfortable in the environment and atmosphere. Find a group where they use quality instruments (not kids instruments) and where the music and experiences are ‘live’ as opposed to just played from a CD, and their expectations are realistic. Many music classes have unrealistic expectations of young children sitting in a circle for long periods, restricting the kids to only touching the musical instruments when offered, opposed to inviting and enticing the kids to experiment and experience the music as a whole.
The parent and child music groups at Blue House are emergent in style and reflect our school philosophy. Angela, our experienced teacher, uses song, guitar, piano, and movement – it’s a refreshing approach. She responds to the needs, emotions and interests of the group, without being fixated on a set curriculum that must be delivered in the same way for each class.
By joining a music class with this approach it will ensure that your child has the space and freedom to explore and that you do not leave the session stressed because your child did not do as they were told!
3. What do you do at home to encourage the love of music in your family? From a very young age my twins were exposed to music throughout the day, either through CDs, radio, or song. We made shakers and drums from recycled materials and incorporated music into their daily routine. Small plastic bottles filled with rice were a firm favourite! Parents shouldn’t feel that they can only expose children to nursery rhymes and traditional children’s music either (as this can drive you crazy!). In Blue House classrooms you will often hear music from all genres and styles.
4. At what age should music become part of a child’s weekly routine? It is never too young to start – many pregnant mums even play music to their unborn child! For music groups, it is appropriate to start weekly classes from around 6 months old.
Meet Shona on a school tour of Blue House, or trial a music class, see the weekly schedule here. Blue House International, Blue House International School, 2 Turf Club Road, Singapore 287988, p.+65 67340824, [email protected]
This article was sponsored by Blue House International.