The Role of Music in Child Development



Music is a part of development from the strains of the first lullaby. Music enters a child’s life from experiences in the family, from the media, as a part of religious worship, in the school curriculum, in play and organized recreation. Although this chapter does deal directly with the reason for music in society per se, we personally believe that the elements of music are a reflection of the organization of the human central nervous system. We also believe that in music and musical experience we reproduce, in an emphasized and stereotypical way, many of the behaviors and experiences necessary to human social communication. By including music so naturally as an integral part of a child’s world we may unconsciously be recognizing such fundamental parallels between music, normal neurological functioning, and normal social communication. So basic is music to human society that Margaret Mead has said it is a fundamental human need that bridges cultural diversity (Mead, 1972).


Motor Skill Child Development Social Competence Early Childhood Education Music Therapy 
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