Early childhood music programs focus on children eight years of age and younger. It is a vital part of any young child’s life. Music programs stimulate mental growth, build confidence, help develop social skills, inspire creativity, and more. The New Jersey Music Educators Association (NJMEA) believes that students at every level deserve access to music instruction in school.
However, recent fiscal cutbacks are inhibiting this necessary education. But it is the NJMEA’s goal to get music education back in line with public and private schools’ curriculum. To further this goal, Far Hills Country Day School music teacher Amy Burns spoke with Steve Adubato, PhD. As part of the Caucus: New Jersey with Steve Adubato series, the two sat down to discuss early music education. Specifically, the benefits of exposing children to music even before birth to enhance their learning ability.
NJMEA Believes in the Power of Early Music Education
Burns has been teaching music for 23 years. At the moment, she teaches Pre-K to Fourth grade in Far Hills, Somerset County. She is also the chair of the Early Childhood Music Education at NJMEA. Moreover, her teachings are part of the “Right from the Start NJ” program. This initiative educates the public about early child development in order to promote positive parenting trends.
“The Brain and Creativity Institute in Southern California did a study where children were exposed to music,” Burns says. “And it accelerated their brain development in speech and sound and language and reading skills. And this is because of the auditory sensory—that’s where those are coming from.”
Burns went on to explain that a person’s musical education begins even before birth, in their mother’s womb. Exposing babies to sounds, including music, does in fact impact their growth, mentally. Of course, once the child is born, music education continues to be a positive influence.
“The best thing you can do from zero to three is sing to your child,” Burns adds. “The payoff is [your child is] going to be absorbed in music, and they’re going to be absorbed in language, and they’re going to be absorbed in just learning more about their parent in that respect and what they love.”
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Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Caucus: New Jersey with Steve Adubato / Caucus Educational Corporation