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Steven Chen

Professor Kaye
Diverse World of Music
24 September 2015
The Important Role of Music in Childrens Lives
In the growing population, more and more research has revealed that music is a key
factor in the development of young children. Mary Luehrisen (the executive director of the
National Association of Music Merchants) says that a music-rich experience for children of
singing, listening and moving is really bringing a very serious benefit to children as they
progress into more formal learning. To me, childrens musical styles are important as they
reflect the musical styles of the generation before them. Children have a tendency to pick up the
music in the environment which they live in. For example, children that live in modern day
America may be influenced by hip hop, pop, or rock music that surrounds them versus children
that grow up in Papua New Guinea may be more influenced towards music such as peroveta
anedia, ute and taibubu. While childrens music reflects an older generations influence,
children hold the power to shape another era of musical style.
Young children have songs that may be associated with them. For example, it is a
tradition to sing happy birthday at a young childs birthday. This tradition begins when the child
is very young and children can often associate birthday celebrations to this song. Also, there are
many traditional holiday classics that children use to associate with a certain holidayie, jingle
bells is a very catchy tune that many children sing at the time of Christmas. While there are
literally thousands of different songs for children, most of them have the same underlying theme
of being fun, happy, celebratory and traditional.

In an interview with Jennifer Diehn, an elementary and middle school orchestra director,
she describes the role of music in the life of children as a universal language that all children
will understand. She makes an example of a Coke commercial when children hear the
jingles in the commercial, they will immediately recognize what is being advertised. As a
teacher, Diehn explains that music help young children phrase better and encourages a flow in
speech. Relating back to music being universal in regards to nursery rhymes, Diehn believes that
nursery rhymes help gives children something to relate to.
In response to How does music aid in childhood development Jennifer Diehn states that
music focuses children at the task at hand, taking in different aspects-rhythms, lyrics, feelings in
childhood, and memory. For children, it creates something they know that is safe and something
they know, create memory, and something that becomes important. As I spoke with Mrs.
Diehn, she began to tear up at the memory of a nursery rhyme that her mother used to sing to her
when she was a child. She explains the connections to that song and how it comforts her in times
of trouble and stress. Diehn connects the feeling of love and protection to the simple nursery
song that her mother sings to her. And now, she sings the same song to her children. Music
styles for young children is inherited. I would sing the songs my mother sing to me when I was a
child and sing them to my own children. In other words, Diehn asserts the fact that music does
evolve through passing down musical styles to children and the next generation.
While there is a comfort and emotional aspect of music in a young childs life, research
has also proved that music can increase intelligence. In 2004, E. Glenn Schellenberg performed
an experiment on children to determine if intelligence could be affected by music. Her
experiment proved her to be right as children who were given weekly voice and piano lessons
found increase in their IQ points.

In another study by Christopher Johnson, it was revealed that students who were
given a music education and exposed to music in elementary school scored around twenty-two
percent higher and twenty percent higher in math scores on standardized test compared to
schools without a music program. (PBS) Music not only enhances skills necessary for testing,
but life skills as well. Counting different rhythms helps children develop a better sense of math
and improve spatial-temporal skills. It is also proven that music has a connection between
spatial intelligence, which is described by Pruett as means to understanding music can help
children visualize various elements that should go together, like they would do when solving a
math problem. Pruett further explains that these skills introduce solutions to problems one
would encounter in architecture, engineering, math, art, gaming, and especially working with
computers. (Pruett)
Overall, while it is easy to advertise the intelligence gain of music, one should not forget
the main goal of music. To children, music gives them comfort and love as described by
Jennifer Diehn, music enhances a childs life. Pruett says music makes your kid interesting and
happy, and smart will come later. It enriches his or her appetite for things that bring you pleasure
and for the friends you meet. Most importantly, a childs musical style and exposure to music
enhances the perspective of the child. Their view and understand of arts and culture will be
better appreciated and they gain valuable merit through music.

Works Cited
Brown, Laura Lewis. "The Benefits of Music Education." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 23
Sept. 2015.