Scientific studies have concluded that the effects of music can enhance brain development in babies, as early as during fetal development within the womb. Once stimulated, the brain continues to develop and grow beyond the child's preschool years. Scientists believe that children, who are musically stimulated before birth and into the latter years, have greater potential for a higher degree of intelligence. This is because music stimulates both sides of the brain, left and right, to actively function at the same time. The significance of this is that the brain is being conditioned to experience deeper sensory perception, which allows the child to absorb and process new information like a super sponge. Much like a computer, when you save a new file to memory, it is saved as a data file. The process is the same with humans- when we learn new information, our brain saves it to our memory by creating new brain cells, so that it can be retrieved and used for later.
The younger years of a child's life are the most critical and crucial time for learning. This is also the best time for parents to expose their child to all of the tools and instruments to help them develop creative and analytical skills. Stimulation of creativity helps the child to think more abstract and logically, which makes a world of difference in comparison to children who are not creatively stimulated. For example, verbal skills can be stimulated and enhanced by encouraging your child to sing. In the same way that dancing encourages creative and physical coordination.
Children have a greater advantage over adults when it comes to learning something new. This is because their young minds can take new information, process it, and then fine tune it. The end result would produce an artistic interpretation on an old piece. It's like a child taking the song, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", and then changing or adding lyrics to make it their own. By doing so, this child had just expressed his/her artistic and creative side. "But it didn't make any sense." It doesn't have to make sense for us to understand it, the point is that the child heard a song, and tailored it to his liking.
As children develop, they experiment with their senses to explore the world around them. For instance, when children clap and sway to music that they like, they express their emotions by- moving their body, clapping their hands, and trying to sing along with the lyrics by making noises. Kitchens are also a fun place for children- their orchestra consists of pots and pans, soup spoons, and spatulas. You'll notice that they vocally express their emotion (singing) while they bang on their pots and pans (emotion). The more happy or upset they get, the louder the noise. Ever heard of Heavy Metal music? The play on emotions sound alike, don't they?
Music with lyrics helps to teach memory and learning skills. As said before, music stimulates both sides of the brain to interact with each other, so it's easier for a child to process and retain information better. Rhythm also plays a key role in music- it helps children to pace their thinking skills in mathematics, and also in sports and athletics. Studies have concluded that children who are musically inclined are more successful: achieving high test scores, gaining college entry, low risk for substance and drug abuse, and competent in the business world.
The greatest thing about music is that it also helps to sooth the mind so that the body can relax after a long day, and can also be used as a sleep aid.