Music to promote early language

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Listening for pleasure

                                                                                                      Music photo created by gpointstudio -

Music affects our emotions.

It can make us smile and bring comfort. It is something that can be shared collectively with others or we can enjoy on our own. It can make us clap, dance and bring pleasure. Music is fun.

Making music together in the early years has been shown to promote cooperation, social skills and empathy in young children (Kirschner & Tomasello, 2010). 

This article explains how enjoying music with a young child can help social and emotional development

"The simple and enjoyable act of making music with your child naturally fosters important social and emotional skills, such as self-regulation, self-confidence, leadership skills, social skills, and socio-emotional intelligence." (Guilmartin, 2019).

This article by Grahn (2018) outlines a study that used brain stimulation to change the way we respond to our favourite songs. The researchers stimulated an area of the frontal lobe of the brain called the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and found that this changed 'both liking and wanting of music.'

Grahn (2018: p.18) concludes:

Some outstanding questions remain. For example, these results cannot tell us why music is so rewarding. Music is a potent inducer and regulator of emotions. Its emotional effects can be seen from infancy to old age and are powerful enough to calm agitation even in advanced states of dementia.......... Much remains to be done to understand how simple acoustic patterns of sound can elicit responses from euphoria to tears.



Grahn, J. (2018) 'Tuning the brain to musical delight'. Nature Human Behaviour. Vol 2 January.  pp. 17-18. [Online] Available at: author_access_token=G6dlEFp41Fw_TUBzhXE4T9RgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0NaGisWRJdDquZxp6ydR3_bn5c14ffajs9NYrX_xvjw-ZAbuk7CUczvJl8Yb6YIv_2wEE7zR-MJMnM3LT11VRdTnelgLpG5JNlsEBRSaL2uOw%3D%3D [Accessed: 7 May, 2021].

Guilmartin, L (2019) Creating Harmony: How Music Can Support Emotional Development. Music Together Worldwide. [Online] Available at: [Accessed: 16 April, 2021].

Kirschner, S. & Tomasello, M. (2010) 'Joint music-making promotes prosocial behavior in 4-year-old children'. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31 pp.354-364.