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2 Ways Music Can Improve Your Young Child's Pre-Literacy Skills

While most toddlers and pre-schoolers won't engage in any formal literacy education until they hit their school years, they're learning pre-literacy skills all the time. Typical word-related activities like reading out loud and communicating with others are great ways to boost a young child's pre-literacy ability, but they're not the only way. You may be surprised to learn that children can also get a boost to their literacy through music and performance. Here are 2 ways musical activities can help your child learn to read and write in the future.

Music Helps with Learning Patterns

First off, music helps children with literacy is by developing their ability to recognise patterns. Unlike many other languages, English isn't fully phonetic—the same letters are often pronounced differently from one word to the next. In order to learn how to spell (and, in turn, read) effectively, children must learn how to match written and spoken letter patterns.

One musical activity that can be a big help in this area is singing rhyming songs. Rhymes emphasise specific sound sections and letter patterns, helping your child become more familiar with them. Rhymes also fit into beat patterns, developing a child's ability to divide words into rhythmic units of sound. When the time comes, this will give them a big boost in their ability to match these patterns to the words they see on paper.

Music Helps with Memory

Another essential pre-literacy skill is auditory memory, and music can help with that too. Children with good auditory memory can remember different sounds, helping them to distinguish said sounds in words and sentences. Memory skills also help children recall words when reading so they can read faster and enjoy books more. There are many musical activities that help with auditory memory. One of the most fun is playing instruments and memorising which sound each instrument makes. Singing can also be a great way to help children learn words and phrases. Just as most people find it easier to remember song lyrics than chunks of text, children are more likely to retain vocabulary gained through song.

While you can sing songs and play instruments with your child at home, musical activity will have a better effect on your child's literacy skills when it's led by an early years educator and enjoyed alongside other children. If you're eager for your child to get the best start possible, enrol them at an early learning centre with a great musical program.