How music affects a child’s brain development

An unborn child can already hear in the womb during the third trimester and begins to respond to sounds such as parents singing or music being played. They also respond with a kick or movement, and sometimes a raised heartbeat too. Although there isn’t any evidence that doing this raises a child’s IQ – it does, however, provide them with comfort and familiarity which can help to calm them when they have been delivered into the big wide world. 

But what are the baby brain development stages like once they are born and in their early years? This month, The West Finchley Preschool is here to discuss the effects of music for baby brain development as well as some music activities for preschoolers that you can try at home.

Baby brain development stages

Did you know that during your first trimester your baby’s brain has developed three of its main sections – the brainstem and cerebellum, the limbic system, and the cerebral cortex – already? By the second trimester, a baby’s brain can already manage movement and breathing and by the third, the baby’s cerebral cortex develops the right and left hemispheres.

Not sure what all of that means? Let’s take a look at the different parts of the brain and what they control. 

  • Brainstem and cerebellum – controls the breathing, heart rate, balance and reflexes.
  • Limbic system – controls the body’s behavioural and emotional needs. This section of the brain tells us when we’re hungry, thirsty, content or anxious.
  • Cerebral cortex – controls what we see, hear, remember and physical sensations. This section is made up of two hemispheres and four lobes.  

Music for baby brain development is most effective during your third trimester, as it’s around this time when they can respond with movement. Of course, music after birth and in the early stages of their lives will be most effective as it can help them to improve on:

  • motor skills and coordination
  • vocabulary and speech
  • memory 
  • making friends
  • sensory development 
  • health and fitness
  • sticking to a routine
  • their bond with you

Music activities for preschoolers

Listening to music, playing music, dancing and singing are all ways children can experiment with sound. By getting involved in musical activities for preschoolers, you can boost numerous skills. 

So let’s take a look at some music activities for preschoolers that you and your little one can enjoy at home.

Sing random things to your child

Children love to copy their parents, it’s how they learn and it’s certainly a great way to pass on good habits to them. This music activity for preschoolers is simple. Start by singing ‘good morning’, ‘good night’ and ‘thank you’ to your little one. Eventually, your child will pick this up and start singing ‘good morning’, ‘good night’ and ‘thank you’ back without any prompts. It’s a fun way to teach manners and a great start into helping them experiment with song.

Introduce your child to different types of instruments

In the early years, children are quizzical and want to touch everything in sight – which is perfect for introducing them to musical instruments. Start with a rattle, drum, recorder or tambourine and let them experiment with sound. Tap a beat on the drum, pass it to your child and get them to replay what they heard back to you. Start with simple beats and as they get better and better, make the beats more complex.

Matching musical game

This music activity for preschoolers is a great way to trigger the part of the brain that controls memories. To start, get your child to think of their favourite nursery songs. It might be ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’, ‘Baby Shark’ and ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’, for example. Then have them draw a symbol for the song, for example a star, shark and a sheep on separate pieces of paper. Next, play their favourite songs and get them to hold up the symbol that’s associated with the song.

Connect with The West Finchley Preschool 

At The West Finchley Preschool, we’re passionate about providing children with excellent opportunities which is why our activities are so varied. From science and discovery to performing arts, we offer a space where children can explore, discover, create and learn.

What’s more, we listen to each and every child to better understand where their interests lie, so that we can work together to build strong foundations that will help them on their journey to success

With state-of-the-art facilities and qualified, dedicated preschool teachers to care for your child, you can guarantee that there’s no better place for your child in the early years. Take a virtual tour of our premises and see for yourself just what The West Finchley Preschool is all about. And if you would like to visit with your little one, please contact us to arrange an appointment – we’re looking forward to seeing you!