CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Kids love to sing and dance, but did you know there may be more to that than just for entertainment purposes? New research shows music may help babies and young children learn better.
You can never read to your child too much, and now the same can be said for singing.
Mother of an eight-month-old and early childhood teacher Dianna Hamm said whether it's nap time or time to eat, anytime is a time for music.
"Singing and reading helps all areas of development," Hamm said.
Research out of the University of Washington found that playing music during a series of play sessions improved babies' brain processing of not only music but also new speech sounds.
"Often time the music that we are singing to our children is delivered through language which is one part of the brain," Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist at The Pediatric Edge Brandy Storck said. "Music is another part of the brain, so it integrates those things together and then you get into the motor actions where we put them on our lap and we kind of sing back and forth and it really causes everything to work together and fire in this beautiful way that we see them really light up and enjoy it from infancy."
Teachers say introducing music early can help children be ahead of the game by pre-kindergarten and beyond.
"We music a lot in here to reinforce the skills we are teaching," pre-kindergarten teacher Gail Timpe said.
Timpe suggests that parents not stop with music. She said to introduce art and dancing, matching movements, sights, sounds.
Anything to make learning new and interesting.
"Making sure that you present things to children in all different ways best prepares them to learn the best once they get into a school setting," Timpe said.
A local therapist said, like muscle memory, our brains have something sometimes called "music memory." That's why kids often learn things like the ABCs to the tune of a song because it helps make it stick.