The Tuneables is an award-winning children's music education DVD and CD series designed to teach the key building blocks of music at a critical time in a child's development. Sponsored by the Music Intelligence Project, this fun, interactive program engages children in songs and activities that provide a foundation of music understanding and growth in intellectual development. Ages 3-8.
Buy your copy today at: www.thetuneables.com/the-music-shop/
When the question arises as to whether playing recorded background music for young children provides any benefit, the answer must be, "Yes." This is a convenient and pleasurable way to introduce children to the music of their culture and allow them to become familiar with a repertoire of songs and other compositions. In addition, when the music selected for listening is sufficiently complex, like Mozart's, some benefit to increased intelligence may occur. Most importantly, these listening experiences provide the readiness for structured music instruction.
The distinction between listening to background music and purposive music instruction is the complexity of the mental activity required. When listening to background music, the mind will passively or actively process the music with some degree of understanding. However, when a child receives instruction on how to play an instrument or sing, a complex interplay and coordination of skills must occur. Fingers, hands, feet, teeth, lips, and tongue may be required to make specified movements with precise timing. Vocal chords and lungs must be engaged with the recall of pitch and rhythm to produce a song. The brain, through the eye, must recognize musical symbols and translate them into the simultaneous recall of musical patterns and expression with the muscle movements that create a musical effect.
Researchers have concluded that the multiplicity of experiences found in active music learning can lead to increased cognitive functioning in a wide range of abilities such as math, language, and spatial-temporal reasoning. These conclusions are supported by research into physiological changes in the brain as a result of music instruction and study.
Links to specific studies on music instruction and brain development:
Engaging young children in music experiences can have a strongly positive influence on their intellectual development. But you have to be smart about choosing what experiences produce the best result. The key consideration is to make sure the children are actively involved—focused listening, singing, moving rhythmically, playing simple instruments, and forming musical concepts—all with the aim of producing a musical result and knowing that it happened.
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