Critical Review

Do you know that music supports the formation of brain connection? The article “Beyond Twinkle, Twinkle: Using Music with Infants and Toddlers,” by Rebecca Parlakian and Claire Lerner (March 2010) says “music and music experiences also support the formation of important brain connections that are being established over the first three years of life (Carlton 2000)”. They also explain how music can promote development of social-emotional skills, physical motor skills, cognitive skills, language, and literacy skills. They also provide suggestions how an early childhood educator may use this information to promote development within these areas.
Parlakian & Lerner talk about music facilitating social-emotional skills and motor development. Infants and toddlers are beginning to learn and practice self-regulation. For example when an infant or toddler is upset, an adult may sing softly or play soothing music and this usually helps the children calm down and this helps the children learn how to begin to self-regulate. Music also helps babies and toddlers learn the words to describe their emotional state. For example learning words like happy, sad, and mad. They also learn to cooperate and begin building relationships, develop self-esteem and self confidence, and even to start sharing and take turns. Music also helps develop physical motor skills. It helps develop gross motor skills as it promotes movement like dancing. This means developing body awareness, and learning how to balance. It also aids in development of fine motor skills by doing finger plays or other interactive songs that call for hand movement.  
The other two important skill developments are cognitive skills and language and literacy skills. Music deliberately gives a chance to practice patterns, math concepts and symbolic thinking skills. Lots of songs introduce numbers and counting like, “One, Two, Buckle my Shoe,” and “Five Little Monkeys.” Every song has its own pattern or tempo and this helps...