Developing young minds
Babies are born with an innate love of music, and music is an important part of a baby’s development. Research showing the positive effects music has on learning and brain development abounds. In fact, Finnish researchers have developed a method that reveals how wide networks in the brain, including areas that control motor actions, emotions and creativity are all activated just by listening to music.
One way to maximise the benefits of music for your baby or young child is to perform regular musical activities with them at home and to involve them in group music classes. Here are some of the key benefits that a structured music education program provides at an early age;
Music encourages creativity, self-expression and self-confidence
The exploratory nature of music allows children to extend themselves creatively and to develop greater confidence and self-expression through activities such as performing for others,
making up new words to songs or creating their own music.
Music promotes speech development
Children develop an awareness of language through simple songs and rhymes. While moving singing and playing, a child learns through hearing the appropriate language associated with a specific task, for example high, low, up, down, under, over, behind, in front.
Music can help in developing a child’s ability to learn and understand maths
When a child hears a number and sees the number of fingers you hold up to them, they learn to make a connection between what they see and what they hear. Clapping, tapping, stomping or marching to the beat of songs helps children to develop an awareness of the mathematical structure of music.
Music can encourage the development of motor skills
Regularly enjoying songs with actions and movements can help a child’s coordination, confidence and motor skills development.
As well as benefiting their learning and development, teaching music to babies can help instill a lifelong appreciation of music, and by attending group music classes, babies have the opportunity to socialise and learn together with other babies. MaryRose Harrison, who teaches the Mini Maestros music program in Melbourne’s West, says “My experience is that babies make developmental leaps when learning alongside their peers.”
Something to remember: Repetition is important when learning music
Children learn through repetition until the activity or task becomes automatic. Even young babies will begin to recognise a song that you sing and respond to it by focusing solely on you or babbling along with you. Children need to practice and repeat activities such as clapping and patting over and over to aid their learning process. You may tire of repeating the same rhymes and songs, but your child will be happy as they are most confident when they know what is happening or what they are hearing.
For more information on the Mini Maestros Program and venue locations visit