Children Build Bonds through Music
Much has been made of the way music enhances a child’s intellectual development. The evidence for the brain-boosting power of music is impressive. But music’s benefits don’t end there. Music, science is finding, is a potent force for building bonds.
The Harmony Road Music Course curriculum depends on group learning. We’ve seen how playing music together teaches students to cooperate and collaborate. Friendships develop through the medium of music.
Children Build Bonds Through Music
In some ways, it’s a commonsense notion. Most people know that singing in a group or playing in an ensemble forges friendships. Is there anyone who hasn’t joined in on a spontaneous rendition of the happy birthday song, or grabbed a partner to dance to a popular tune? While we sing or dance together, our voices blend, and we move in time with one another.
Some researchers have studied how music enhances social ties. Here’s a quick recap of two scholarly articles that are particularly interesting.
Music, Cooperation and Teamwork
Singing or playing an instrument with a partner or a group requires a coordination of efforts. A 2014 article published in the online journal Frontiers in Psychology discusses music and social bonding. The author asserts that music and dance have played an important role in the evolution of human society. Music is at the center of many cultural activities including rituals of courtship and identity.
Playing music with others requires that we harmonize, keep the beat, make eye contact and adjust our behavior to match our fellow musicians. As we work with others to create music, positive feelings grow. Coordinating musically with another person releases endorphins. Endorphins are “feel good” chemicals. They may account for why playing and listening to music makes us feel good.
Music Increases Oxytocin
Researchers have found that listening or playing music increases oxytocin in the blood. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide and another naturally occurring chemical that makes us feel good. Previous studies have linked it to the bonding that happens when a mother nurses an infant or when romantic partners connect. It’s a chemical that’s associated with bonding and trust. We feel good when levels of oxytocin increase.
One study documented the rise in oxytocin after people sang for 30 minutes. The singers included both professionals and amateurs. The nonprofessionals reported feeling “elated” after singing lessons. Both groups said they felt more energetic and relaxed.
How Harmony Road Taps Into the Power of Group Lessons
The Harmony Road Music Course program includes singing, movement and learning to play musical instruments. In our classes for children, youngsters and parents make music together in a joyful expression of movement and music. In classes for older students, budding musicians share the fun and excitement of playing music with friends.