Music Can Change the World

Posted by Mandy Abel on

"Music can change the world" ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is a universal language that can bring people from all ages, abilities and backgrounds together. There are many different ways to engage with music, a multitude of benefits and the best part is you don't need to be an expert musician to get involved with your kids.

It's never too early to start either - studies have shown rhythm, beat and vibration to have a positive impact on early brain development, with even the youngest babies benefitting from exposure to music and song.

Music brings children together and helps them learn the power of collaboration and teamwork.

Some Benefits of Musical Play

Exposure to musical play can have a number of positive effects on children's development. It can be an excellent way to stimulate children's creativity and imagination, which can have flow effects to other creative activities such as drawing or building. Some of these benefits include:

Music can help children develop their language skills, memory, and problem-solving abilities. It can also help them learn about math and science concepts, such as pattern, rhythm, and pitch.

Music can help children learn how to work and play with others, as they sing, dance, or play instruments together. It can also help them develop teamwork and leadership skills.

Music can help children express their emotions and feel a sense of accomplishment as they learn new skills, as well as providing a sense of relaxation and stress relief.

Music can help children develop their fine and gross motor skills, as they sing, dance, or play instruments. It can also help improve coordination and balance.

Music can also help with relaxation and the reduction of stress. Listening to music can stimulate the release of 'feel-good' chemicals in the brain which can help improve mood and reduce feelings of anxiety.

Introducing kids to traditional musical instruments is also a great way to expose them to different cultures and sounds.

Easy Musical Play Ideas

If you don't have a musical background - don't worry! You do not need to be an expert to give your children all the benefits and fun of musical play. By encouraging children to sing, dance and engage in musical activities, you can help foster a love of music that will last a lifetime. Here are some easy ideas to do at home:

  1. Singing: Singing is a great way for children to develop language skills and learn about melody, rhythm, and pitch. Children can sing nursery rhymes, songs from their favourite movies or TV shows or make up their own.

  2. Dancing: Dance is a fun way for children to learn about body awareness and coordination. Children can follow along to their favourite songs on youtube or create their own dance moves and put on a show! 

  3. Instrument exploration: Experimenting with a variety of musical instruments is a great way to to learn about different sounds and how to make them. Some good options for young children include shakers, drums and handbells.

  4. Rhythm activities: Children can learn about rhythm by clapping, tapping, or using other household objects to create music. They can also play simple rhythm games, such as "Follow the Leader," where one child leads the group in a series of claps and stomping patterns.

  5. Music and movement: Children can combine music and movement by pretending to play instruments as they dance, or by using props such as scarves or beanbags to add an extra element of play.

    Play silks and scarves make great additions to a music collection - perfect for dance and movement activities!

      Our Favourites to Begin

      In terms of the best instruments for young children, it is important to choose ones that are age-appropriate and safe*. Some good options include:

      Shakers are easy to hold and produce a simple, rhythmic sound. Shakers suit a wide range of ages and there are many different types to choose - from the classic wooden egg shaker to more unique instruments such as colourful caxixi or coconut maracas. (You could also make your own using plastic bottles and rice!) 

      Drums are an instrument that children of all ages love to play. Small hand drums (or even pots and pans!) are great options for young children.

      Xylophones and glockenspiels have a series of wooden or metal keys that produce different pitches when struck with a mallet. They are a good choice for children who are interested in exploring melody and pitch.

      Handbells are small bells that children can ring by shaking or striking them. They are easy for young children to hold and play, and produce a bright, cheerful sound.

      Shakers are fun instruments perfect for all ages to explore music and rhythm.

      More than a Melody

      Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” 

      Besides the numerous cognitive and physical benefits, music promotes inclusivity and is a great way to bring people together. It can create a sense of community and connection through shared experiences, emotional expression, cultural traditions and social events.

      Children can learn about different types of music from various cultures and time periods, which can help them develop an appreciation for diversity and broaden their cultural horizons. 

      Traditional Musical Instruments NZ - CaxixiThe caxixi (ka-shee-shee) is a percussion instrument which originated in Africa and South America. Fun and vibrant shakers which produce a range of sounds depending on how they are played.

      At Fairplay, we LOVE music and musical instruments! We have curated a collection of authentic musical instruments for all ages - ones that we use in our home which are also perfect for schools and educational settings.

      Check out our favourites!

      *A note on safety: At Fairplay we have chosen to stock traditional musical instruments, rather than 'toy' versions which are generally marketed at children. We believe this brings an authenticity and longevity to their play - but as they were crafted as musical instruments they have not been through the safety testing requirements our toys have. Though they are well made and fun for little ones to play, supervision is recommended for under threes due to small parts which could be a choking hazard.*

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