In the early summer months of May and June, children across the US celebrate their parents on Mother’s and Father’s days. The impact of caregivers in early childhood is immeasurable. Whether it’s a mother, father, grandmother, uncle, stepparent, or foster parent, educators have long known the positive influence that caregiver involvement has on the education and development of children. That is no exception for early childhood music classes, where parental and caregiver participation contributes to a formula for success.
The Impact of Family Involvement in Early Childhood Education
Researchers for decades have pointed to parental/caregiver involvement as a key success factor across nearly all aspects of early childhood development. This impact has been ranked above many other background influencers such as socioeconomic status or kind of school attended. That degree of importance also extends beyond individual caregivers to include family and community. Interaction between caregivers, students, and teachers provide a two-way benefit whereas teachers learn about a family’s culture while, the family in turn learns the goals of the curriculum and educational approach. Twenty years of research show that by preparing children’s readiness for school, classroom behavior and attendance, test scores, and academic performance are vastly improved. In addition to academic and school related benefits, caregiver involvement also benefits the child in several other ways:
- Development of self-confidence and motivation
- Better social skills and relationships
- Less likely to develop behavioral issues
- Builds a foundation of resilience into adulthood https://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/three-early-childhood-development-principles-improve-child-family-outcomes/
- Helps the child to develop independence
The Importance of Caregiver Involvement in Early Childhood Music Classes
Just as with traditional academics, research has also shown that parental involvement positively impacts early childhood music programs. The benefits are wide ranging, specifically reinforcing a positive bond between caregiver and child which helps to build confidence and self-esteem. As a result, the child benefits from:
- Better understanding of cultural ties to music
- Increased IQ, which reinforces understanding of musical concepts
- Observed social Interaction through group music and singing
- Language and enunciation skills through singing
- Tactile and spatial development through observation and mimicry of instruments
The relationship between parent/caregiver and child is a strong bond that impacts success in life. A positive relationship yields many benefits for learning and can help to advance childhood development from the earliest stages. Extending this strong connection to the classroom, whether it be traditional academics or early childhood music classes, provides multiple rewards for child and caregiver alike.