Learning music is unlike learning anything else. This is because making music involves multiple components of the central and peripheral nervous systems including those associated with gross and fine motor skills, emotions, memory, intellect, paying attention, processing expectations and rules, relationships, creativity and cultural values. Making music is ‘superfood’ for a child’s developing brain.
Participating in musical activities is different from practising other activities because musicians – even very young ones – are constantly learning and making new music, thereby stimulating the entire brain. Applying, practising and seeking to improve a learned skill – such as a physical skill – does not have the same affect. Musicians continue to learn, and that learning stimulates ongoing development of the entire brain.
Learning music promotes whole child development as it helps children develop speech and vocabulary, listening skills, motor skills, social skills and cognitive skills. Because neural activity is at its highest and fastest before the age of 6, babies and toddlers who actively learn music are in a much better position to achieve their learning and development milestones.
Music education also unleashes a child’s creative powers.