Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Benefits of Music in Early Development and Education

Art, Music, Drumming.  The value of music is often underestimated in the positive impact that it has on childhood development.  Kids who are involved in drumming, for example, learn to focus their attention and efforts on one activity improving concentration and focus.  Also, studies reveal that playing percussion instruments strengthen children’s skills in other areas such as math and science. 

Drumming teaches students about material science as well as the science of sound.  Beginning as early as first grade students can learn that each material, wood, metal, skin (drum heads), have their own capacity or ability for vibration.  Drumming teaches young students that sound occurs through vibration.  As students grow older, they can learn more about the science of sound.  Tuned percussion instruments such as a piano afford the opportunity to learn about frequency, intervals and harmony. 

Math is improved by drumming for example, because drumming teaches early elementary students to count.  It helps with basic counting and learning to count in cycles which are fundamental parts of drumming.   Drumming and percussion can also teach middle/elementary age students fractions and introduce the mathematics behind frequencies, intervals and harmonics. 

Drumming also helps with overall brain development and stimulates the left and right side of the brain simultaneously.  Little activities are involved in playing the drums, causing multiple parts of the brain to be used.  Kids have to use different parts of their brain to listen to music around them, to instruct their body to move and to create and understand either a rhythm given to them or to create one of their own.  Playing music develops analytical processes in the left side, whereas the right side is more involved in the creative process. Increased networks between the left and right brain form thick fibers that interconnect the two areas, an area that is larger for musicians.

Music is not only good for mental health and development in children, but it’s also great in helping kids develop physical fitness and in understanding how their body works.  Drumming increases your heart rate and blood flow.   Drumming teaches students about their body.  The entire body is used in drumming and most especially the fingers, hands, wrists, elbows, arms, shoulders and legs are all physically developed through drumming.  Children can also gain a better understanding of rhythm in their own body by realizing that the heart has its own steady rhythm to keep the body functioning properly and that breathing often involves rhythm too. 

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