The Top Four Benefits of Music in Child Development

Childhood is an awesome journey filled with growth, learning, and discovery. Among the many factors that shape a child’s development, music stands out as a timeless and universal influence. Catchy tunes aside, music plays a crucial role in promoting comprehensive growth in children.The growth I have seen in my four kids and so many students at our studio is a testament to the profound impact of music on their lives. From fostering discipline and confidence to enhancing cognitive abilities and promoting collaboration, music education equips them with essential skills for success in both their personal and professional endeavors. As educators and as parents, it is our responsibility to nurture kids’ musical talents and interests to ensure that music remains a vital part of their lives for years to come.

In this blog, we will explore the profound benefits that music brings to various facets of child development, from cognitive and emotional aspects to social and physical well-being. We’ve broken it down into the top four benefits of music in child development: cognitive development, emotional and social development, physical development, and lifelong learning and creativity. Let’s dive in:


1) Cognitive Development-

  • Enhanced Cognitive Skills: Music is a powerful tool for engaging various regions of the brain simultaneously, which in turn stimulates neural connections and fosters cognitive development in children. Numerous studies have shown that exposure to music can have a profound impact on various cognitive abilities. For instance, research suggests that listening to and participating in music can enhance a child’s ability to process information effectively. This heightened cognitive processing can lead to improvements in memory retention, attention span, and problem-solving skills. By actively engaging with music, children not only enjoy its aesthetic appeal but also reap the cognitive benefits that contribute to their overall development and academic success.

  • Language Development: The rhythm and patterns in music provide a rich auditory environment that aids language development in young children. Young children exposed to music tend to develop better language skills, including vocabulary and grammar, laying a strong foundation for effective communication. The rhythmic structure of music mirrors the cadence of spoken language, providing a natural framework for language learning. Through exposure to music, children develop a heightened sensitivity to the nuances of sound and rhythm, which in turn facilitates their ability to discern speech patterns and linguistic cues. In addition, actively engaging with music through activities such as singing along, clapping to the beat, or participating in musical games encourages verbal expression and communication skills.
  • Mathematical Aptitude: Music is inherently mathematical, involving rhythm, beat, and timing which are fundamental to mathematical understanding.  When children engage with music, they are exposed to intricate patterns and sequences that mirror mathematical structures, laying the groundwork for the development of mathematical aptitude. The rhythmic patterns in music provide a representation of mathematical concepts such as counting, grouping, and sequencing. As children tap along to a beat or clap in rhythm, they intuitively internalize concepts of division and multiplication, experiencing firsthand the relationship between numbers and patterns. Also, musical compositions often follow specific structures and formulas, requiring children to recognize and anticipate recurring patterns. Whether it’s identifying the repetition of a melody or discerning the sequence of musical notes, children develop a keen sense of pattern recognition, a skill that is essential for mathematical problem-solving.



2) Emotional and Social Development- 

  • Emotional Expression and Regulation: Music plays a significant role in emotional development, serving as a powerful outlet for children to express and explore their feelings. Through music, children learn to identify and convey a wide range of emotions, from joy and excitement to sadness and tranquility which, in turn, contributes to emotional regulation. Whether they’re feeling overwhelmed by emotions or seeking comfort during difficult times, children can turn to music as a source of solace and support. Engaging with music allows children to connect with the emotions conveyed in songs, whether through the lyrics or the mood created by the music itself. By listening to songs that resonate with their experiences, children develop a deeper understanding of their own emotions and those of others, fostering empathy and emotional intelligence. In addition, musical activities such as singing, dancing, or playing instruments offer opportunities for social connection and emotional expression. Collaborating with others in musical ensembles or sharing favorite songs with friends fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie, enhancing emotional well-being.
  • Social Bonds and Cooperation: Group music activities provide a platform for children to engage in collaborative endeavors, fostering a sense of community and cooperation. Whether singing in a choir, playing in an ensemble, or participating in a music class, children come together to create something greater than the sum of its parts. In group settings, children learn the value of teamwork as they collaborate with their peers to achieve a common musical goal. Each individual contributes to the collective sound, whether through harmonizing vocals, blending instrumentals, or maintaining rhythm, highlighting the importance of cooperation and mutual support.  Sharing a musical experience also creates a sense of camaraderie and belonging, as children work together towards a shared artistic expression. Through rehearsals, performances, and collaborative problem-solving, children forge lasting friendships and develop a sense of unity within the group. In addition, group music activities promote inclusivity and diversity, welcoming children of all backgrounds and abilities to participate and contribute to the ensemble. Regardless of skill level or prior experience, every child has a place within the musical community, fostering a culture of acceptance and support.
  • Empathy and Cultural Awareness: Exposure to a diverse range of musical styles introduces children to different cultures and perspectives. As children explore music from various cultures and traditions, they gain insights into different perspectives, values, and experiences. Each musical style carries with it a unique cultural context, reflecting the history, beliefs, and traditions of its origin. By immersing themselves in music from different parts of the world, children develop an appreciation for the diversity of human experience and expression. They learn to recognize the distinct rhythms, melodies, and instruments associated with different cultures. Exposure to diverse musical styles also cultivates empathy and cultural awareness. As children listen to songs sung in different languages or infused with cultural motifs, children gain a deeper understanding of the experiences and emotions of people from diverse backgrounds. They learn to empathize with the joys, sorrows, and struggles expressed through music, fostering a sense of connection and solidarity across cultural boundaries. Children may be inspired to learn more about the history and traditions behind the music they encounter, sparking a lifelong interest in global affairs and intercultural exchange.


3) Physical Development-

  • Fine and Gross Motor Skills: Playing musical instruments requires the coordination of fine and gross motor skills, fostering physical coordination and dexterity. Whether it’s plucking strings, tapping drums, or pressing keys, the physicality involved in making music contributes to the development of precise motor skills in children. At the most basic level, mastering an instrument involves the manipulation of fingers, hands, arms, and sometimes even the entire body. It also encompasses aspects such as posture, breath control, and hand-eye coordination. Maintaining proper posture while playing an instrument promotes spinal alignment and strengthens core muscles, contributing to overall physical health and well-being.It also involves the development of proprioception – the awareness of one’s body in space – as children learn to gauge the force and precision needed to produce desired sounds. This heightened proprioceptive awareness enhances spatial orientation and fine-tunes motor control, laying the foundation for skilled musical performance. Also, the repetitive practice inherent in learning an instrument hones motor skills through consistent refinement and muscle memory. As children repeatedly perform scales, chords, or rhythmic patterns, they strengthen neural pathways associated with motor control, leading to greater precision and fluency in their playing. Fine-tuned motor skills are not only essential for musical proficiency but also transferable to various other activities and disciplines, including sports, academics, and daily tasks.
  • Sensory Integration: Music engages multiple senses simultaneously – auditory, visual, and tactile. This sensory integration plays a crucial role in children’s overall development, facilitating the refinement of sensory processing abilities and developing adaptability to a wide range of stimuli in their environment. Auditory engagement is perhaps the most obvious aspect of music, as it involves listening to melodies, harmonies, and rhythms. Through music, children develop auditory discrimination skills, learning to distinguish between different pitches, tones, and timbres. Visual elements also play a significant role in the musical experience, whether through observing performers, reading sheet music, or interpreting visual cues such as conducting gestures. Visual engagement in music helps children develop visual tracking skills, eye-hand coordination, and spatial awareness. Music also involves tactile engagement through the physical manipulation of instruments or interaction with musical materials. Whether strumming guitar strings, tapping drumsticks, or pressing piano keys, children engage their sense of touch to produce sounds and create music. This tactile stimulation fosters sensory exploration and sensory-motor integration, enhancing children’s ability to interact with and interpret tactile stimuli in their environment.



4) Lifelong Learning and Creativity-

  • Stimulating Creativity: Music is an art form that encourages creativity and imagination. Children exposed to musical experiences are more likely to develop a creative mindset, exploring new ideas and expressing themselves freely through various forms of artistic expression. Engaging with music stimulates the brain’s creative centers, inspiring children to explore diverse musical styles, experiment with different sounds and rhythms, and even compose their own music. Whether improvising melodies on an instrument, creating original lyrics, or arranging musical pieces, children are empowered to express themselves freely and develop their unique artistic voice. Music also encourages interdisciplinary connections, sparking creativity across various domains of expression. Children may incorporate music into other forms of artistic expression, such as dance, visual arts, or storytelling, creating multi-dimensional and immersive artistic experiences. By integrating music with other art forms, children expand their creative horizons and develop a holistic approach to artistic expression. In addition, musical experiences foster a sense of playfulness and spontaneity, encouraging children to take risks, explore new possibilities, and embrace the joy of creative experimentation. 
  • Lifelong Love for Learning: The joy and fulfillment derived from musical exploration create a positive association with learning. Children who engage with music early on are more likely to develop a lifelong love for learning, approaching new challenges with curiosity and enthusiasm. Whether they’re learning to play an instrument, singing in a choir, or exploring different genres of music, children are constantly challenged to explore new techniques, experiment with creative expression, and overcome obstacles. This sense of challenge and achievement fosters a positive attitude towards learning, as children experience the satisfaction of mastering new skills and overcoming challenges through persistence and effort. Children come to associate learning with feelings of fulfillment, happiness, and personal growth, reinforcing their motivation to continue exploring and expanding their horizons. Additionally, the interdisciplinary nature of music exposes children to a wide range of learning experiences that extend beyond musical skills. Through music, children develop language and literacy skills through song lyrics and storytelling, mathematical concepts through rhythm and patterns, and social-emotional skills through collaboration and expression. This holistic approach to learning nurtures a well-rounded and adaptable mindset, preparing children to tackle diverse challenges and pursue lifelong learning opportunities with enthusiasm and curiosity.


As you can see, the benefits of music in child development are incomparable when it comes to the cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development. The profound benefits of introducing children to the world of music extend far beyond the melodies themselves, shaping resilient, creative, and well-rounded individuals.

Reflecting on my own experiences with children, whether as a parent or an owner at the studio, I’ve witnessed firsthand the benefits of music in child development. I’ve seen children’s eyes light up with curiosity and excitement as they explore new musical concepts, express themselves through melodies, and collaborate with peers to create beautiful harmonies. Through their musical journey, I’ve watched them grow in confidence, develop empathy and teamwork skills, and cultivate a lifelong love for learning and creativity.

If you are in the Seattle/Snoqualmie area and looking for ways to enhance your child’s development, check out the offerings we have at Big Star Studios. We offer lessons in voice, piano, guitar, drums and ukulele as well as theatre classes. We pride ourselves on having exceptionally skilled instructors and strive to keep our costs affordable in order to reach as many students as possible. Our mission is to guide students in nurturing both their music skills and invaluable life skills that build confident, empathetic, and reflective young individuals through the transformative power of the performing arts. 

If you have any questions or interest in any of the classes we offer at Big Star Performing Arts please reach out to me! I am available by phone or email anytime.

Corey Schwarz
Executive Director, Big Star Performing Arts Studio