To understand the connection between music and courage, look no further than the “pump-up song.” Professional sporting events often feature loud, upbeat music designed to excite the players and fans and get everybody ready for the game.
Of course, you don’t have to be a pro athlete to build courage through music. Making music helps children build confidence, competence, social skills and even bravery, which is why music education is so important.
At Primrose Schools®, our Harmony & Heart® program gives children the opportunity to sing, dance and play instruments every day. Children 5 and under practice trying something new, perhaps even outside their comfort zones, buoyed by the fun of music.
“Everyone can make music during Harmony & Heart, because the goal is to develop that love of music and increase the courage that goes along with being willing to try new things,” says Dr. Maria Shaheen, senior director of early childhood education for Primrose Schools.
Read on to learn how music education helps instill courage in children.
- Music facilitates self-expression. Music is personal. Everyone experiences it differently, children included. Making music or dancing is a way for children to express themselves and their feelings. They can explore their emotions through singing, playing instruments or moving to the music.
- Music encourages trial and error. Learning something new, including music, can be challenging. Whether you’re trying to hit a certain note or keep up with a fast rhythm, it takes practice. Harmony & Heart is about instilling a lifelong love of music, not achieving mastery, so it’s a safe place for children to try things without worrying about being judged.
- Music promotes positivity and optimism. Each morning, Primrose classrooms play their own version of pump-up songs from the Harmony & Heart music collection. (Listen to the songs children learn in the classroom on your favorite streaming or download service.) These welcoming, happy tunes — cock-a-doodle-doo, good morning to you! — help children feel positive about the day to come, which makes it easier to take risks and be courageous.
Parents can use music to foster courage at home, too. For one, it helps to model bravery for your children. Maybe you’re nervous about being the first one on the dance floor at the family party, but you do it to show your child that it’s fun to cut loose and be yourself. You can also invite your child to sing or dance for Grandma and Grandpa, or to lead a kitchen dance party with the whole family.
Encouragement is one thing, but it’s important not to make children perform, whether for family or in public, until they’re ready, Shaheen says. Be patient; shy children often become bolder as they grow. A child who doesn’t want to sing in front of anyone at age 5 might be eagerly trying out for the middle school musical at 11, Shaheen says.
After all, building music skills, and the courage to show them off, is a lifelong journey.
For more on Primrose’s approach to music education, read:
- 6 Surprising Ways Children Benefit from Music Education
- How Music Helps Young Children Grow
- Musical Milestones for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers
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