Take a peek inside any Kindermusik classroom around the world and you will see much of the same thing. We sing. We dance. We play instruments. We listen to music. We move our bodies in response to music. We create music.
In all of our musical activities for kids, we engage children and families in learning both in the early childhood classroom and in the daily routines and rituals of family life. While this peek represents an ordinary (and fun!) day in a Kindermusik classroom, the benefits of music on the cognitive development of children is so much more than ordinary. For a young child’s brain development, the benefits of music are actually extra-ordinary.
A peek at the cognitive development of children who participate in music classes
While any parent can contact a local Kindermusik educator and take a free peek at a class, we need the help of scientists to look inside a child’s brain. Researchers from Boston’s Children’s Hospital recently took a closer look at what happens when children participate in music classes. The team studied 30 adults between the ages of 18 and 35 (15 working musicians and 15 non-musicians), and 27 children between the ages of 9 and 12 (over half of whom had at least two years of musical training).
As published in the online journal PLOSONE, they discovered that children with early musical training experience advanced executive function skills during cognitive testing. So, in other words, the benefits of music enables a child’s brain to more quickly process and retain information, regulate behaviors, make good choices, solve problems, plan, and adjust to changing mental demands. Sounds pretty extraordinary to us!
“Since executive functioning is a strong predictor of academic achievement, even more than IQ, we think our findings have strong educational implications,” explained study senior investigator Nadine Gaab, PhD, of the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children’s in a press release. “While many schools are cutting music programs and spending more and more time on test preparation, our findings suggest that musical training may actually help to set up children for a better academic future.”
A child’s brain on Kindermusik
Incorporating music and movement into a child’s learning routine stimulates all areas of the brain and that is why music is the best vehicle of learning for early childhood education. Independent research studies show that Kindermusik—specifically—impacts the cognitive development of children. Children participating in our music classes show a 32 percent literacy gain and show marked improvement in inhibitory control.
So, whether you are looking to enroll your child in a Kindermusik class, bring Kindermusik to your childcare center or Head Start program, or even to your language school, the cognitive benefits of music will be evident.