Making Music Well Being Week

27 May to 2 June is Making Music Well Being Week which is an initiative used to raise awareness of the recreational and therapeutic benefits of being musically active.I asked 2 of our wonderful music teachers to write something about music to share with the Gold Coast Kids community.

Music and Children Aged 1 - 5

Monica Zidar BA(Music), GDipMusThy, Registered Music Therapist, Owner Music with Monica

Hearing is the first sense we develop in the womb as we are entrained by the rhythm of our mother’s heartbeat. Music and rhythm is an innate part of each and every one of us no matter our age, level of ability, gender, religion or race – it transcends all differences and speaks a universal language.

There is often a natural overlap with language, movement, or objects in the environment when making music for and with others. Music uses shared neural circuits with speech and is a unique experience that can tap into our emotions and can create physiological change within our bodies. Rhythm and music have been proven to optimize neural pathways and maximize potential.

I am a Registered Music Therapist (RMT), registered with the Australian Music Therapy Association Inc.  This means that I have a postgraduate university qualification in music therapy and my everyday work involves using research-based, musical techniques to address non-musical goals.  That is, the focus of both my Music with Monica community groups and  my clinical work with children with special needs is not on musical outcomes but is on the way music can be used to address a child’s development. The creative use of music by a RMT can enhance:

  • Communication
  • Social skills
  • Gross and fine motor skills
  • Sensory integration
  • Thinking skills
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-expression
  • Emotional awareness

Most importantly, while all these developmental areas are being addressed, your child (and you) are having fun together, participating in something meaningful and hopefully, learning new skills, too. Like, how to settle your baby with the sound of your own voice. Whether you think you can sing or not, the mother’s voice has been proven to be the most important in a babies world. Go ahead and try it!! You may even notice how good it makes you feel and this is no coincidence as, when you sing to your baby, your brain releases the hormone oxytocin – the same hormone released when breastfeeding.

When you next sing and do the actions to  ‘Twinkle, Twinkle” with your baby or young child, you can be proud that you have just engaged them in a positive, fun interaction with someone they love and trust while teaching them social interaction and the natural rhythms, inflexions and meaning of our language. – it can be as simple as that.

For more information on how to join a Music with Monica group on the Gold Coast or if you are interested in Music Therapy for your child with special needs, please visit the Music With Monica website or email info@musicwithmonica.com.

Top 5 Reasons for Primary Aged Children to Learn a Musical Instrument

Saminda, Beginning Notes

  1. Music increases the capacity of their memory! Research has shown that participating in music at an early age can help improve a child's learning ability and memory by stimulating different patterns of brain development. Help your kids remember more (and learn more!) with music.
  2. It will boost their brain power! More and more studies show a correlation between higher academic achievement and children who are exposed to music at an early age. Want to give your child a mental advantage? Music lessons can do that!
  3. It teaches them patience! We live in a world of instant gratification, but learning an instrument requires (and teaches) both patience and self discipline. These are skills which will benefit your child for life.
  4.  Music fosters self expression and relieves stress! Music is an art - just like an artist can paint his/her emotions onto a canvas, so too can a musician play a piece with emotion. This has been proven to relieve stress and can be a great form of therapy and relaxation.
  5.  Music is a confidence builder! Overcoming musical challenges that you thought you'd never quite master can give you a great sense of pride about yourself. Are there any areas of life which aren't enhanced by having good confidence? Probably not. If you would like your child to develop their confidence and sense of self, having music lessons is a great place to start.

(Gold Coast Kids Families enrolling their child for piano or singing lessons for next term will receive one free lesson! All lessons are one-on-one at Beginning Notes.)

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