“A strange art – music – the most poetic and precise of all the arts, vague as a dream and precise as algebra. – Guy de Maupassant”
Even before children learn to write, they pick up their crayons and pencils to doodle. While these childish scribblings may not look coherent to an adult’s eyes, it is a way for the kids to express their thoughts, produce their first masterpiece, and start their life’s journey with colors and strokes. The same goes for music. Babble sounds are the precursors of language as we know it, and numerous studies show that children respond to music even before they learn how to speak!
Training in arts and music goes very far back in history and is one of the first known things passed from one generation to another (long before written language came into existence). In the context of modern education, arts and musical training have gained a lot of momentum in recent years because of its impact on child cognitive development. An increasing number of neuroscientific studies show that introducing children to arts and music from an early age positively influences their overall development and, in particular, their cognitive and critical thinking abilities.
At The Navyandhra School, ranked among the Top 5 Schools in Gurgaon, music and arts form an integral part of our holistic learning framework. We introduce these activities to our pupils from a young age to help them reap the cognitive benefits. In this blog, we will discuss the scientific basis of why training in music and arts is great for children’s analytical and cognitive functions and list out three ways it helps them grow into well-rounded citizens. Happy reading!
The Science Behind Music and Arts Training and Improved Cognitive Development
Researchers from Geneva, Switzerland, have studied the impact of music and arts in adults who received some form of training as children and have found that the neuroimaging of their brain show remarkable changes from those who did not. Corroborative studies confirm that children with such training have improved memory, reading and speaking abilities, are better in a second language, and have higher IQ.
The extent of these changes depends on the duration and seriousness of training and how early children started their training. This is why at The Navyandhra School, one of the Top 5 Schools in Gurgaon, we start our music and arts programs early on to allow our students to hone their skills optimally. The rewards, motivation, and the social context of such training serve as important contributors to the overall growth of children. It helps in de-stressing children, which in turn helps them grasp academic content better. It also sharpens their temporal processing and enhances their attention span. Thus, early training in arts and music lays the foundation for varied skills (both academic and soft skills) that ultimately cater to boosting the cognitive development in children.
Top 3 Ways Teaching Arts and Music Helps in Cognitive Development in Kids
- Improves Verbal and Visual Memory
Have you ever thought about why is it so easy to remember songs from your childhood (even when you don’t listen to them regularly) but an arduous task to remember the grocery list? Well, the reason is simple. When we do something that we enjoy, it triggers the memory center of the brain, associates the memory with happy thoughts, and tags it with happiness. So, the next time we do the same thing, it becomes easier for our brain to recollect it by using these tags.
When children learn music, it helps them process words and their meanings faster. Likewise, drawing and crafting also help to develop fine motor skills and improve visual memory in children.
- Improved Analytical and Critical Thinking
Learning an instrument or using different colors to make a painting are all very complex activities involving hundreds of neurological pathways. When children learn how to multitask during these creative activities, it sharpens their analytical and critical thinking faculties. It helps them hone their visual or auditory-spatial skills and enables them to process information better. Such spatial and temporal skills form the basis of all critical and logical thinking abilities.
Training in music and arts helps in translating these skills into academic learning and skills. For instance, introducing children to music and crafts like origami is a great way to teach them the basics of mathematics.
- Increased Sense of Achievement and Confidence
Contrary to popular beliefs, participating in extracurricular activities like music, dance, drama, arts, etc., helps strengthen academic achievement. When children are involved in such activities in school, they have more reasons (other than academic studies) for coming to school regularly. It helps them develop an identity outside their classrooms and is an excellent boost to their confidence.
Children who get such training have lower absenteeism and drop-out rates and are more motivated to perform in class. The reward associated with learning these skills is one of the biggest motivators throughout their formative years.
Until a few years back, many people used to think that too much involvement in extracurricular activities may end up distracting children from their main academic goals. However, with growing scientific evidence pointing towards the exact opposite, more and more educationists and policymakers are now realizing the importance of introducing arts, music, and other extracurricular activities in schools. Education is now no longer all about grades and scores but rather about the holistic development of young minds, and music and arts play a crucial role in that.
As one of the Top 5 schools in Gurgaon, we, at The Navyandhra School, have dedicated arts, music, dance, drama, and many other clubs that encourage children to take an active part in these brain-developing activities. Taking a cue from scientific data, we use such skills to foster a playful learning environment where children thrive academically and emotionally!
Here’s hoping this article helped you realize the potential of those art and music classes your kids can’t seem to stop talking about. So, make it a point to encourage your little ones to go ahead and participate in the music and art lessons, and the improvement in their cognitive abilities will soon be visible to you.