Why music and drama are important in the early years
The basic structure of a brain is laid down during the preternatal and early childhood period and basic sensation and perception are thought to be fully developed by the age of five. While other systems involved in memory, decision making and emotion continue to develop, the foundations of many of these structures are constructed during the early years and the development of systems responsible for motor skills, precision, coordination, cognitive skill, speech, social behaviour and emotion are all strongly influenced by experiences during this time.
It has long been widely accepted among neuroscientsts that music is incredibly beneficial for babies, but why?
A study from the Institute for Learning has shown that music makes a big difference to a baby's brain development. They determined that after regular exposure to music the prefrontal and auditory cortexes, the areas of the brain in charge of both music and speech, looked different. And even more beneficial than just listening to music, playing music showed a vast imporvment in fine motor skills as well as liguistic and mathematical precision as it involves using several parts of the brain at once. The neuroplasticity gained ensures synaptic connections are able to develop faster. Basically, our babies get smarter!
Some of the benefits of this neurological stimulation are:
Helping babies bodies and brains work together.
Stimulating thinking and expressive skills.
Boosting creativity, socialisation and self esteem.
Improving fine motor development.
Giving your child the ability to self regulate emotion.
Babies are born with the ability to enjoy music, and so while boosting babies brain power we also see the fun and joy that babies experiencing live music feel.
Many people believe that drama only boosts creativity and imagination, but there are many things that drama can help with and an early exposure to drama and story telling can help ensure your child gets a head start.
A study conducted by the University of California looked at the correlation between high attainers and participation in drama and found that children who attended a regular drama club achieved highly in their eduction and went on to land a successful job.
Participating in games, hearing new stories and using them to explore emotion and the world around them helps babies and young children:
Grow in confidence.
Develop emotional intelligence.
Nurture bonds and friendships between children.
Develop language and communication skills.
Start to understand social interactions and the world around them.
Become more inquisitive.
When babies and young children are having fun, no matter what they are doing, they will be learning and we at Monkey Mayhem believe an early music and drama eduction can help set your children up for a bright and positive future.