Walk into any early childhood environment and the sounds of singing, clapping and joyful music will be heard. The quality of the music activities and instruments offered to young children does matter. While some young children enjoy and excel in formal instrument training such as Suzuki violin, Orff classes or piano lessons, a simple introduction to rhythm and music can be achieved with authentic child sized instruments and activities that focus on rhythm patterns and a child’s freedom to explore.
Benefits to Young Children
Studies show that a child who plays an instrument has increased self-confidence, enhanced listening and cooperation skills, better hand-eye coordination, improved motor skills and superior spatial reasoning. A very young child who experiences music as a pre-language activity is exercising her brain for higher cognitive functions in later development. Playing an instrument and exploring rhythm develops a child’s understanding of sequential learning, which is an important pre-reading skill.
Additionally, the portion of the brain that gives a child musical talent works in conjunction with the portion of the brain that develops math skills. Overall, a child who plays and explores with musical instruments is aided in her emotional, social, physical and academic development.
Real Instruments are Important
95% of making music is rhythm. When a child is offered a real instrument, rather than a plastic toy version, she will experience the musical tone of an accurate sounding instrument while feeling free to explore rhythm and natural patterns when creating a beat. When the sound is appealing, a child will be drawn to use the instrument, explore with it and subsequently develop a love of creating music. To offer a child a range of musical experiences, a set of authentic percussion instruments from around the world give a child rhythm exploration and an opportunity to learn about other cultures in a meaningful way.
Authentic Instruments for Children
Founded by free-spirited world traveler, John Hayden, Jamtown offers affordable high quality fair trade percussion rhythm instruments from all over the world. Jamtown is committed to supporting artisans who are making native musical instruments using traditional handcrafted methods.
With school budgets being cut, music specialists are often the first to go. Jamtown has created percussion rhythm activities to go along with its instruments that are easy to use for ages three through adult and are appropriate for use in school environments and at home.