The early years are critical in a child's development and it has been widely recognised that music can play an important role in a number of areas:
- Making music is an effective way to develop early language skills. Children find it easier to remember long strings of words and phrases when they form part of a song.
- Improved language acquisition: children encounter many words for the first time in songs; they learn 'action' vocab through singing songs with associated actions; similarly, they learn positional vocabulary ('over', 'under', etc) easier in song.
- Picking up key listening skills and learning how conversation works, through the turn-based nature of many children's songs. Young children will often listen to what others are singing and playing and will be prepared to wait for their turn to join in.
- Singing can develop creativity, with children taking pleasure in learning basic rhyming skills and anticipating what words will come next in a song. It also helps early story-telling skills.
- The playing of even basic percussion instruments helps physical development in children, while singing teaches how to control the pitch, tempo and volume of their voice.
- Music-making in groups promotes teamwork and develops confidence and self-esteem in even the shyest children.