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Music and Your Child
How Song and Dance Encourage Social Development

Research by the Content Manager
You're probably already enriching your child's life with music and dance.
Whether you're singing a lullaby to help him drop off to sleep, or making
him laugh by dancing to the latest Top 10 hit, music and dance bring you and
your child closer. But did you know they can also help him develop skills
that will last a lifetime?

When a child hears music, especially coming from you, it encourages him to
listen closely and repeat the sounds he hears. Such careful listening and
mimicry will certainly help him when he goes to school * where almost every
learning experience includes listening and responding appropriately.

Don't worry so much about what type of music you share with your child. Your
child doesn't have to love Mozart to reap the rewards of early music
appreciation. Simple and silly songs are just as important. The constant
repetition and rhyme in many children's songs can help your child learn
numbers, letters, words and concepts. For example, songs that lead children
in clapping, jumping and other motions can help your child associate the
words he hears with the actions he performs.

Music is often a child's introduction to the arts and creative expression.
Children who make their own music or invent their own dances learn how to
communicate ideas and emotions without words. Singing and dancing are also
great lessons in social interaction. When children sing, dance or play
music together (and with their parents) they're practicing give-and-take,
cooperation and concentration.

There are many reasons to make music an important part of your child's life,
and just as many ways to do so.

1. Sing to and with your child
2. Attend musical events together
3. Encourage your child to dance and act out the words of songs
4. Expose your child to different kinds of music * children's songs,
classical, jazz, the list is endless

But most of all, make music fun. The rest will follow.

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