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13 Sep 2018
Think about the way music affects you on a personal level. Fun, upbeat tunes get your hips swaying and put you in a great mood even if things are going so great around you. Slow tunes with sad lyrics can bring tears to your eyes even if you don't know what is being sung about personally. Something inside of the human soul connects naturally to music. When you hear a new or unusual tune you stop in your tracks, turn toward the source of the sound, and you pay attention.

All of this occurs with young children and babies as well. When a child is busily playing in a quiet room and music is started from one corner of the room, they will naturally turn toward the music and stop what they are doing. A loud noise from that corner may startle them into tears without turning to look, but music seems to call to them on a deeper level just as it calls to adults. They turn and look. They give their attention to that source of musical entertainment. Many will crawl or walk over to explore the source of the music. Others will sit silent and let the music run through their minds as they obviously find enjoyment in the sounds.

This is something that parents all over the world have noticed with their own children. Expectant mothers report that their unborn babies perk up and start kicking or moving around more when they play music or start singing. Many parents will place headphones over their pregnant bellies and play music because there is a common belief that exposure to musical sounds while in the womb can effect unborn babies in a positive manner that will stay with them until later phases of life.

Parents with older children often note that the easiest way to calm down a fussy toddler is to play music. Once the toddler is upset and starting into a temper tantrum, the parents turn on soothing music or perhaps upbeat, playful music that turns the meltdown into a hoedown of dancing, singing, and romping around the room. The child is distracted in a positive manner. They forget what they were throwing the temper tantrum over and they occupy themselves with the enjoyment of music instead.

Still other parents insist that their children were born with a natural musical talent because they have been singing, dancing and enjoying music right from the womb. These children are standing on living room tables to sing with hairbrushes as their microphones. They are dancing and listing to mp3 players at incredibly young ages. The sounds that come out of their mouths are startling to adults who would never believe a child could sing so beautifully.

All of these things are signs that music exposure in childhood is about much more than just enhancing basic music abilities. Children who are exposed to music at a young age learn effective, safe ways to control emotion and express themselves. They build up their confidence levels after succeeding with small musical goals. They find that they can calm themselves down and bring on the peace and happiness just by listening to music. Their fine motor skills and communication skills are strengthened through musical interactions with other children.

Helene Goldnadel believe that music teaches children much more than just music. Parents around the world have stories to prove that.
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