Today on the podcast, we’re diving into singing with your kids and its many tremendous benefits.
—> Singing Teaches
—> It produces wonderful physical effects
—> It improves our psychology
Not only do kids learn language through singing, they are developing their brains through active engagement. Did you ever wonder why preschool and kindergarten teachers use song to help kids learn and remember everything from their ABC to manners? I know I use songs to help me remember lots of things from grocery lists to bones of the body.
According to Rice University, here are some in which singing encourages language development. It encourages self expression, it encourages vocal imitation. Singing gives kids verbal confidence and develops and eagerness to communicate. Singing exercise the lips and the tongue, it helps children to speak more clearly and with greater ease. Singing teaches grammar and vocabulary. Singing teaches phrasing and storytelling or the sequencing of events. Singing teaches patterning rhythm and rhythm and it gives kids tools of verbal communication. Singing also teaches kids how to listen and how to enjoy listening and how to think while listening. Singing fosters brain development through strengthening our memories. Singing also teaches us opposites, such as, fast and slow, loud and soft, long and short, tension and release. Every good song carries some of these elements of contrast in it. Singing along with dancing teach the basic equation of space equals energy times time or distance equals rate times time.
Physical effects of Singing
There are many physical effects that come from singing. Like other aerobic exercising such as walking, singing gets more oxygen into the blood aiding in better circulation. The deep breathing required to sing helps reduce stress like meditation or other relaxation techniques. Sining also releases endorphins, the feel good hormones, into the bloodstream, which elevates mood. Put simply, singing lifts our spirits and energizes us. If we look to the research, these physical effects have been well documented. A 2008 Australian study found that choral singers on average rated their satisfaction with life higher than the general public. Surprisingly even when these choral singers were faced with more difficult challenges, than the general public, they still had a higher overall life satisfaction. Nursing home residents taking part in a singing program over a course of a month, had decreases in both their anxiety and depression levels. German scientist found that singing strengthens the immune system. During choir rehearsals, it was found that the participants had antibodies as well as the anti-stress hormone hydrocortisone in their blood. And singing can prolong life. Graham Welch, director of the advance music education at London’s Real Hampton Institute states, “Singing exercises the vocal cords and keeps them youthful, even in old age.” The less age battered your voice sounds the more you will feels and seem younger. Sining also improves posture, self esteem, and presentation skills. Singing increase lung capacity as well as clearing sinus and respiratory tubes. So the next time you and your kids have cold, break into song to clear out the gunk. Singing also improves mental alertness. Singing tones facial and stomach muscles.
Psychological effects of Singing
As in any other art form, singing helps us to destress. The learning that takes place when singing, such as learning new songs, new harmony’s or methods gives us a break from our everyday stressors. Not only do parents see more stress these days, but our kids, even our young kids are experiencing tons more stress that I could ever remember. So why not sit with your kids and sing to help them take a little stress out of their lives and your life for that matter. In addition to de-stressing you and your kids, singing creates a wonderful sense of support and togetherness. Songs are often a comfort to our kids. From lullabies to help our kids fall asleep or calm a child who is frightened, angry or frustrated. As I shared earlier sing lifts mood and so you can even use a song to curb the grumpiness from our toddlers and even our school aged kids. When you sing with your child it makes whatever you are doing seems like so much more fun. A child will listen and pay attention to a song when he won’t pay attention to words alone. While singing, children learn vocabulary and grammar, math, history, geography and science. Singing is also an incredible tool for learning foreign languages. So get ready for your next trip to a foreign language speaking country and use songs to get there.
As we close our show today, I want you to commit to singing one song with your kids today. Whether it’s a nursery rhyme, or a song you made up together, song are meant to be shared. Songs don’t wear out, get broken, or take batteries. You can take them anywhere and songs won’t cost you a penny. Enjoy the journey of singing songs with your kids and experience the amazing learning, physical, and psychological effects that go along with your songs. I would love to hear about your journey into singing songs with your kids. Please leave your comments or the songs you make up with your kids on our blog at www.blog.artsmartparenting.com.