Music and Brain Development
Music is one of the most prolific and internationally understood components of the the human experience. No matter what language you happen to speak, music communicates with you and makes you feel various emotions. Think about the music in movies and TV shows, for example. Those soundtracks are designed to augment the emotions the director wishes the audience to experience, and that music remains unchanged even as the film itself is translated into many other languages.
The prolific nature of music is one of the many reasons we incorporate it into our storytime sessions. Music benefits children with disabilities and those without, those from difficult and those in stable family situations, and children who may speak any language found on our wide Earth.
Studies have shown that exposure to music can help children excel at math thanks to the division of the notes and the rhythms that make up songs.
Songs often have lines that rhyme, which build phonological awareness and memory. These rhymes also permit children to find patterns among words, another skill that can be useful in math later on.
Singing slows down words and separates words out into syllables, usually one syllable per note. This helps children learn to differentiate between and recognize the sounds that make up the words that they hear in everyday conversation.
Songs are repeatable - when you sing songs with children over and over again, they will recognize those songs and ultimately be able to sing them with you and reproduce them on their own. All of the repetition that takes place in the initial exposure to a song and the practice necessary to be able to produce that song on one's own not only makes a child more able to sing the song, but it also solidifies the words of that song in his/her vocabulary.
Playing an instrument is also beneficial to brain development! The earlier one starts learning, the better. Why not incorporate shaker eggs or rhythm sticks into storytime to help start children on this journey?