If you like to turn the volume up so your children can sing a few tunes, chances are you’re not just encouraging the next big singing sensation. As it turns out a research team led by Tanja Linnavalli from the University of Helsinki in Finland have discovered music play school at kindergarten can enhance a child's language skills.
The team studied 66 children across 26 kindergartens. One group attended a music play school, another participated in dance play school (active control group), while the remaining group of children attended regular play school (passive control group). The results of the study over two years reported the children who attended the music play school showed more advanced skills using sounds to process the spoken and written word, and their vocabulary and perception of language improved, more so than their peers in dancing or regular play school, even though social activities were provided by all the kindergartens.
The researchers believe the children attending music play school were more motivated to participate because it was fun and enjoyable to sing songs and play musical instruments with their kindy friends. As a result, their ability to understand, think about and express language improved. Children attending dance play school were listening to and physically performing to music but did not process sounds in the same way. The results did not reflect the children's intelligence levels.