How Music Supports Spatial Development

“Exceptional spatial ability at age 13 predicts creative and scholarly achievements more than 30 years later, according to results from a Vanderbilt University longitudinal study, published today in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.” (from Early spatial reasoning predicts later creativity and innovation, especially in STEM fields)

Where Spatial Ability Begins

Kindermusik girl with hoopSo where does spatial ability begin?  The development of spatial awareness actually begins in infancy as babies start to understand spatial relationships through concepts such as up/down, inside/outside, over, under, and all around.  Discovering their hands and feet is also part of the developmental process.
Next comes a greater sense of body awareness for toddlers as they gain an understanding of spatial orientation between self and other objects.  Preschoolers begin to understand the concept of landmarks and gaining a sense of direction.  The learning keeps building and expanding as big kids then also begin to develop a sense of personal space, control of their bodies, and a greater understanding of positional words and directions.

Why we listen, label, dance, and use props

This is why all of the music listening, labeling, moving, direction following, and use of props that’s done in Kindermusik music classes is so powerful.  And now we have the research to support what we’ve known all along… that there is a connection between early experiences in music and movement and creative and scholarly achievements later on.  Music and learning definitely go hand-in-hand!

Give your a child a head start in learning and for life

Come see how Kindermusik can help develop your child’s spatial ability.  Try a free class on us today!

– Contributed by Theresa Case, owner of an award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, SC


Kindermusik and Your Child: Spatial Awareness in Four Parts

Kindermusik Class - Spatial Awareness

The four parts of spatial awareness are:  Kindermusik Class - Spatial Awareness

  • Distance
  • Form (shape)
  • Direction
  • Position (in relationship to others)

How many of you absolutely LOVE GEOMETRY?  If you want your child to love it and be good at it, then you will love learning how for the first seven years of your child’s life, Kindermusik and you will be teaching spatial orientation skills through play.  Among other benefits, spatial awareness is the basis for success in Geometry and Higher Math.

Spatial awareness is the knowledge of where you are in relationship to other people and objects in your environment.  To develop spatial awareness, children learn concepts such as direction, distance and location.

Kindermusik Class - Spatial Awareness With MusicIn the Kindermusik classroom, a child with spatial awareness will understand that as she walks, hops, skips or jumps toward another person in the classroom, she is coming closer to that person.  She will be able to judge how much space she and her hoop require to navigate around the room without bumping into others.  Or she will be able to tap a woodblock or drum with a mallet.

Studies have suggested a link between a well-developed sense of spatial awareness and artistic creativity, success in math, and the development of abstract thought.  The ability to organize and classify abstract mental concepts is related to the ability to organize and classify objects in space.

The key to promoting spatial awareness in your child is to encourage and allow them to explore their surroundings.  And there’s no better way to inspire that spirit of exploration and learning than in the Kindermusik classroom!

Compiled by Theresa Case, whose Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, SC, is proudly among the top 1% of Kindermusik programs worldwide.

FOL Fridays: Movement and Body Control

During movement activities, children learn to organize the available space in relation to themselves and in relationship to objects and other individuals… this is how they develop body control, spatial awareness, and confidence in the power and ability of their own bodies.  (Linda Carol Edwards, The Creative Arts)

TIP:  Turn on some dancing music and dance around the room together.  Add a prop like a scarf, a ball, or a hoop for more movement and body control fun and learning.

– compiled by Theresa Case, M.Ed., whose Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, South Carolina, is proudly among the top 1% of Kindermusik programs worldwide

Musical variety is the spice of life

You’ve probably heard the old proverb: “Variety is the spice of life.” When it comes to music, musical variety is definitely the spice of life! When you expose your children to music from around the world, you expose them to different cultures, countries, ideas, and experiences, along with these developmental benefits:

Greater language proficiency
Just as you read a variety of books to expand your child’s vocabulary, exposure to a wide variety of music and sounds expands your child’s “ear vocabulary.” High quality musical recordings and real instruments help your child “fine tune” her ear to recognize and imitate the sounds that make up words and language.

Spatial awareness
When a child listens to music, her mind perceives the sound in multi-dimensional ways. The sound is loud or soft, fast or slow, it moves up and down, or left to right. Eventually, she’ll use that “awareness of space” to work with her body when she walks through the living room and tries not to hit the coffee table. Much later, this same awareness is necessary skill for learning how to get around things, jump, run, and move in zig-zag ways.

Temporal reasoning
You see this skill in action when a preschooler tells a story. He starts with his own experience and then moves to some imagined place with a princess or a superhero then goes back to something real again. Music does the same thing. It goes back and forth between established places (the chorus) and to new places that take you somewhere else (the verse). The ability to go back and forth from something established to something imagined comes from temporal reasoning, a skill used in music writing, storytelling, and problem solving.

Emotional intelligence
With exposure to a greater variety of musical styles-like jazz, folk, or classical, this increased exposure to music increases a child’s awareness, and understanding of different moods and emotions.

Cognitive skills
Research shows that music contributes to the development of a child’s ability to reason, his sense of patterning, and his memory skills.

Musical appetite
In the early years between newborn and age 7, your child is developing his musical taste buds as he learns to appreciate the finer things and to enjoy new musical tastes and textures. The wider the array of musical styles, the richer his “appetite” will be.

Try this at home… Your child is naturally musical. Hearing you sing and listening to recordings are like food for her musical appetite. Sing with child at least three times a day. Consider these song sessions musical breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (By the way, “lunch” can be interpreted loosely. Just plan the routine of singing together at a time that works for your schedule – when your child wakes up, in the car, doing dishes, at naptime, fixing supper, etc.!) Once you start, you will find that there is a song for everything. If you can’t remember what that song is, make one up!

Posted by Theresa Case whose Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios is proudly among the top 1% of Kindermusik programs worldwide.