Respected Ear, Nose, and Throat Physicians and Surgeons. Exceptional Skills.

Cutting-edge Treatments for Ear Nose, Throat, and Allergy. Snoring/Sleep Apnea, Sinusitis/Balloon Sinuplasty,
Eustachian Tube Balloon-plasty, and Tinnitus relief.

 If you are having difficulties with our patient portal, please e-mail help@healow.com  

Respected Ear, Nose, and Throat Physicians and Surgeons. Exceptional Skills.

Cutting-edge Treatments for Ear Nose, Throat, and Allergy. Snoring/Sleep Apnea, Sinusitis/Balloon Sinuplasty, Eustachian Tube Balloon-plasty, and Tinnitus relief.

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 If you are having difficulties with our patient portal, please e-mail help@healow.com  

How Music Can Promote Language & Literacy Skills

It’s well known that we speak because we hear, and as we hear. It is a powerful concept that is shaped by having good speech and language models during the first few years of life. Music is also a language and uses symbols (instead of words) to make sounds that turn into a larger message. So, one may ask.... does music have any connection with learning speech and language? The answer is yes! But how? Musical activities increase a child’s listening skills, such as learning about timing and pitch. These skills are linked to a child’s developing language because the same features exist in speech. Musical play at a young age not only mimics the parts of speech but also allows learning new vocabulary words, as songs and rhymes are often repeated over and over in children’s music.

Music can support reading development as well. Exposure to music (whether from a music class or just simple playtime with singing and instruments) teaches a person to hear individual notes and understand how they fit together. “Phonological awareness” is the ability to identify sounds that make up words, which is a very important skill for the early reader. Learning these skills for music is linked to strong phonological awareness abilities for reading success. Music allows children to play with and manipulate sounds, so it is a good way to nurture these important skills.

Research has shown that musicians with years of training have stronger auditory pathways than non-musicians. But don’t let this keep you from including music in your child’s life, as formal training is not needed to have a positive effect. Benefits can be seen after as little as 40 hours of exposure! So, you ask, how can I use music to promote development in the home? Here are a few easy ways:

Sing!

Singing is a great way for children to learn a language and is also a great way to bond with your child. Using song picture books as you sing can help a child become familiar with printed text, and taking turns, which supports early reading.

Dance!

Dancing is a fun and interactive way to pair songs with motions to support memorization skills and allow children to burn some energy while catching the beat.

Rhyme!

Rhyming is a fun way to build literacy skills. Encouraging your child to come up with their own rhymes allows them to strengthen their phonological skills.

Create!

Using instruments to make music is an active and fun way of learning. Encourage your child to make up their own songs and let them experiment with the various sounds an instrument can make. As they grow older, signing up to play an instrument or singing in the choir are great ways to continue the benefits.

What about my child with hearing loss?

Whether your child was born with hearing loss, or experiences intermittent hearing loss due to frequent ear infections or other ear disease, the many benefits of music can be appreciated by anyone. One may argue that music enrichment is more important for hearing impaired children to have as part of their aural habilitation, since these cues may be missed due to their hearing loss. A hearing-impaired child may perceive music in a different way than their normal hearing peers. Nonetheless, the fun and enjoyment can still be the same! Music has been known to improve listening skills and auditory attention, as well as speech recognition ability in background noise, which are all common areas that may be difficult due to hearing loss.

Music can be a fun and engaging activity for children, while reaping many benefits in the development of language and literacy. Regardless of your child’s hearing status, encourage them to listen to the beat!