Parenting: Singing with your kids

October 11, 2010 3:39:29 PM PDT
Two years ago, the favorite activity of my then 2-1/2 year old son Luke was singing, playing the guitar, and playing the drums.

Now, my 3-year-old daughter, Emma, is constantly singing songs from Disney Princess movies. She remembers the words better than I do!

Their early love of music started at a local Makin' Music class. I started Luke before he was one as a fun way to bond. Youngsters get to sing, play instruments and dance and you take home a CD of all the songs that can be a lifesaver during long car rides.

RELATED: Watch Cecily Tynan's Home Movie of her son and daughter playing guitar!

I had no idea this fun music class was helping my little ones become better readers, thinkers and learners.

Janine Kelly and Kim Fink, co-founders of Makin' Music, point out research that shows music stimulates the neuron development of the brain.

"It makes them better readers, better thinkers," says Fink. "The statistic that I really think is important is that musicians do better on their SAT scores. That's amazing to me."

Studies show that mental mechanisms that process music are deeply entwined with the brains other basic functions, including perception, memory and language.

Music educators say as a parent, the best thing you can do is expose your child to different types of music. Take them to live performances and let them make a racket exploring different musical instruments.

It's never too early to start.

Kelly suggests what most expectant moms already know: its soothing to sing to your developing baby in the womb. And once that baby is born, rocking and singing can help your baby sleep.

As your child becomes a toddler, you help develop fine motor skills with hand gestures and props.

And, as parent, looking back at home video of my children singing and strumming the guitar, is one of my favorite things to do.

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