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Music Matters: Why My Kids Will Always Grow Up Around Music

Written by Molly Mercury

Molly is a musician, events host and music teacher from Derbyshire. She has worked for the NHS for over 10 years delivering music sessions for both staff and patients, as well as teaching from her studio in Derbyshire.

It is a well-researched fact that making music engages nearly every single part of your brain - how amazing is that?! It improves memory, concentration, patience, dexterity and fine motor skills too. Singing, or playing wind and brass instruments has been proven to strengthen your immune system and even reduce breathing conditions like asthma, by learning diaphragmatic breathing and breath control. Currently, the ‘hot topic’ in the music therapy world is research into vagus nerve stimulation using sound therapy – a whole other article in itself.

I have worked as a music teacher in a mental health setting for over 10 years and daily witness the emotional and physical benefits of a music session. At the same time, I have seen the negative impact too. Time and time again I hear the same old tale from adults, ‘I can’t sing’, ‘I’m no good at that’, ‘I used to play but I was rubbish!’ and my question is always this: ‘who told you that?’ 99% of the time it’s an adult and – even worse – it’s usually someone in authority: a teacher, family member or choir leader. That is so damaging! In this view, if you are looking for lessons for your child, it’s important to seek out the right teacher for them. As a parent, plenty of positive reinforcement is imperative when practising, and never leave young children to practise alone. Learning is important but laughter and fun are key - everything can be turned into a game!

Music and singing releases endorphins and dopamine (the ‘feel good’ chemicals) and decreases cortisol levels (that cause stress and tension) which makes music the perfect medicine for your child’s balanced wellbeing. In a world where it’s reported that 1 in 6 children aged 5-16 have a mental health problem, why not introduce music into your daily routine? Start your day with a song that promotes positivity, one that your child loves, and soon you’ll see the whole family bopping about at breakfast. Our family loves: ‘You’re Welcome’ from Moana for energy, or ‘Lovely Day’ by Bill Withers for a bit more chilled. And remember: practice makes perfect!


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