Can Early Childhood Music Education help children with their physical skill development?
Physical Skill Development: Motor Skills and Coordination
Dr Lucy Bainger, in her article “Music and Learning For The Young Child” states the following:
“For the young child, music and movement are always connected. Learning to move the body using both gross and fine motor skills develops the child’s physical coordination.”
Dancing along to music helps children build their gross motor skills. Gross motor skills are the ones that enable children to move larger muscles, like their arms and legs.
Fingerplay songs can help with fine motor skills. Even a basic introduction to an instrument, such as a hitting a triangle or shaking a tambourine, can be beneficial in developing a child’s fine motor skills, involving hand-eye coordination and dexterity.
Physical Skill Development: Crossing the Midline
Crossing the Midline has become a well-known phrase in Occupational Therapy and Special Education and is a main feature of programs such as Brain Gym.
Imagine a line that starts from the top of your head and draws straight down to the point between your two feet. This figurative line splits your body into left and right halves and is known as the midline. The term ‘crossing the midline’ depicts the movement of a body part over the midline from one side to the other side of the body to complete a task.
Singing and performing simple action songs that require you to cross the midline, fully engage your brain, as both brain hemispheres are communicating well. In other words, doing the traditional song, “Hokey Pokey,” can facilitate and strengthen a child’s neural networks to coordinate movement and learning.
Physical Skill Development: Physical Balance
Music activities can improve a child’s coordination and balance.
Songs that require children to move and stop help with balance. Action songs involving hopping and jumping can also help with locomotive skills and balance.
Physical growth and development in children can be helped enormously by a good music education program.
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