They smile, they laugh, they delight in the impermanence of their years—yes, it’s easy to see that music and dance are a natural fit for preschoolers. But as joyful as it is to see our young ones at play, it’s important to be aware of the learning opportunities that music and dance provide when it comes to childhood education and development.
In a class setting, music and dance can be excellent channels through which children can reach their full potential. Through a structured curriculum and professional supervision, your child can develop their skills in a safe environment. Importantly, it uses the time during a child’s formative years to open a window for other opportunities.
To gain a better understanding of how your child can benefit, let’s take a closer look at how music and dance classes can benefit your preschooler.
The act of play is very important for the development of children. It gives them the chance to build their skills at their own pace. And, in the case of music and dance, it provides a meaningful opportunity to develop a wide range of physical skills, a phenomenon demonstrated by scientific studies.
Researchers at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki concluded that preschool children who followed an 8-week dance program performed significantly better improvements in balance and sensorimotor synchronization (the coordination of rhythmic movement with an external rhythm). Additionally, the QLD Department of Education and Training of Australia says regular movement experiences help children to develop movement control, coordination and strength.
Dance makes for the ideal catalyst to get children moving and growing. The abstraction of repetitive rhythms makes for a practical format that inspires children to be active. Moving in time with music can help children develop their gross motor skills, and build their balance and coordination. It emboldens them to challenge the limits of their physical abilities, and establishes the fundamentals required for building more mature skills.
To the untrained eye, preschool dance classes may seem like jumping around without purpose. But, for your preschool children, this kind of play is exactly the kind of development from which more finessed skills can form.
Language is a key part of every preschool child’s development. But even though reading and writing are far too complicated to introduce at this time, dance and music classes are exactly what your preschool child needs to help improve their ability to express themselves.
As before, multiple scientific studies back up this claim. A 2016 study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute found that musical experiences in childhood help accelerate brain development, particularly with language acquisition and reading skills. Furthermore, a 2018 study by the National Institutes of Health Kennedy Center Workshop on Music and the Brain demonstrated that children – from infancy – are responsive to listening to music, a development that significantly contributes to their language development.
At its core, dance is expression. It empowers a person to take full agency over their body, and gives them the confidence to express inner emotions. Without the need for grammar or vocabulary, dancing and music provide a chance for preschool children to vent negative emotions while nurturing positive ones. Through music, children can explore moods and themes in a non-verbal way, providing new avenues to stimulate their creativity and imagination.
As such, dance and music classes can be instrumental in helping preschool children with language development.
Music and dance classes benefit children in many ways, but none are more significant than the fact that this activity takes place in a class setting. Here, your child can develop their social skills by meeting other children and forming new friendships. In this place, they share experiences with their peers and collaborate on common goals. What’s more, music and dance classes teach children how to be supportive while respecting personal space.
A study published in Evolution and Human Behavior showed that music can have a positive effect on preschool children by fostering group cohesion and “generating an intuitive feeling of community and bonding among the performers.” In much the same way, researchers at the National University of Singapore have discovered that music can aid in the synchronization of people and help them “collectively experience their environment as one.”
Dancing and music should be a mandatory part of parenting, but you can offer so much more in a group setting. For this reason, music and dance classes provide enormous value for your preschool child when it comes to social development.
As sedentary activities like computer use and TV watching continue to rise, it is important for children to partake in regular exercise to promote their physical development. Not only is dancing ideal for fulfilling this requirement, but it does it in a way that helps the body and mind work together and strengthen memory skills. Through repetition and simple rhythms, children can use these art forms to develop strength and endurance from an early age.
A 2017 study showed that only 12.7% of Canadian preschool-aged children were meeting the requirements for 24-Hour Movement Guidelines that include getting at least 180 minutes of physical activity on a daily basis. At the same time, 76% of 3- to 4-year-olds are engaging in more screen time than recommended.
To keep your child fit and healthy, enrol them in dance classes that will energize and invigorate them.
For all these reasons and more, you should consider dance and music classes for your child. And, with all these benefits in mind, there’s also something else: Your child might really like it!
Introduce your children to an activity for which they can cultivate a life-long passion. Set them down the road towards self-discovery by exposing them to the right influences and preparing their school readiness.
Are you interested in enrolling your preschool child into a music or dance class? CDM Dance & Music offers a wide range of classes that can suit your needs! Check out our preschool dance classes here!