The impact of music on human brain development
Human Brain (n): The most complex machine that ever existed – the control room of our body’s every function.
As you read these words, you realize, Mr. Brain is at work, and has been since the day you were born! The number of neurons in the human brain are fixed at the time of birth and the connections in these neurons define the personality traits of a human being. The more the stimulation, the better will be the connection.
As responsible adults in a child’s life, our job is to provide the right kind of stimulation to their brain for its optimal development. There are many ways parents can provide the right kind of exposure to support their child’s brain development. The easiest way is to start with music.
As your parenting partner, we have complied a list of facts about musical stimulation and what you can do, as parents, to help your little ones.
In the book This Is Your Brain on Music, Daniel J. Levitin explains that listening to music first involves the stem of the brain. The musical stimulation to this part of the brain regulates a child’s heart rate and blood pressure. Music regulates emotions in a child through this part as well. So, sing to your child as much as possible.
Similarly, if you tap your feet while singing or listening to music, it will involve the cerebellum (the back of brain) which is responsible for attention and language development of children. So, get up parents, it’s time to tap your feet and sing tunes with your child!
Why am I being asked to sing for my child? I am a parent, not a singer! Fair enough. The answer lies in science:
Recent research in brain mapping of children clearly highlights that lullabies in a mother’s voice are far more calming than night ragas played on a music system. Similarly, the stimulation to the brain is found to be higher when parents are humming around an infant instead of playing music through devices in an infant’s room. The choice is yours now.
Your adult brain can be bored of singing or listening to the same song over and over again. But, dear parents, the toddler in you will love it – providing you start.
A child’s brain loves repetitions, and music provides that in abundance. Repetitions allow the connections of neurons to grow stronger. Therefore, the rhymes learnt in early years stay in your brain till your last breath.
Studies have shown that when parents sing to their children or create a musical atmosphere in their home, the cortisol hormone (commonly known as the stress hormone) was found to be reduced not only in the child but also in the parents. So, in today’s busy world, singing to your child can be your stress buster.
Don’t forget, stress is contagious. You unknowingly may pass the stress of the outside world to your little ones, if music is missing in your life.
So parents, this Season of Love, let us all take a pledge to invest in our Love for Music! Even without listening to you sing, we bet your child is an ardent fan of your singing and will stay so, forever.