Imagine that your child has gone to the basement (or some play room) to play with his or her toys. Often what the child will hear is either silence or the noise of the toys An excellent way to boost the quality of the play time of your child is to play background musical notes.
Anthropologist A. P. Merriam in his book The Anthropology of Music says,
“there is probably no other human cultural activity which is so all-pervasive and which reaches into, shapes, and often controls so much of human behavior.”(*1)
What is he talking about here?
He is talking about the power of music on a person.
However, the effects of music on children are much more powerful on children than for an adult. The reason is that children are in their formative years, and therefore whatever music your child is exposed to has a much more profound result than most people would realize.
In today’s world, we are bombarded by the media. Television, movies, videos, and multimedia presentations are enhanced by music. With music either as a main element or in the background, the media know the power of music on people, including children.
“You can never get silence anywhere nowadays, have you noticed?”
So you can really shape a very big part of your child’s world by the music you play for him or her.
2) The Theory: How to select the Music for your child:
There’s been a lot of talk about the effect of music on children. How to make children become smarter. How to make them better listeners. How to get them to study better. And so on. The music industry has turned this idea into a multimillion-dollar industry, focusing the market on concerned parents and educators who want the best for the children under their wings.
The truth is that choosing good music for your child should not be a rocket science. You don’t have to rely on scientific studies to justify your purchases. It boils down to understanding some simply principles of music.
Let’s take a closer, more fundamental look at music. In a very basic sense, there are two parts to music:A) the notes and B) the lyrics.
A) The Notes:
The musical note is defined here as found in dictionary.com: “A tone of definite pitch.” Musical notes can be produced by musical instruments, or any device that produces wordless sounds.
The effects of instrumental music (such as is found in classical music) on children and their aptitudes and attitudes has been under much study. Even back in the 1930’s (Fendrick, 1937, as cited in Koppelman & Imig, 1995)(*2), there were studies of the effects of music on children. Recently, one of the better known of these studies is “the Mozart Effect”. Much of the original work was revealed in 1993, publicized by co-researcher Dr. Gordon Shaw. It was a study on the effect of listening to music that resulted in better exam scores. Other researchers, such as Davidson and Powell (1986)(*3), showed the beneficial effects of background music in classrooms.