The Benefits of Studying Multicultural Music

May 17, 2023

We’ve spent a great deal of time over the years discussing the various mental benefits of music, the benefits of performance, and even the non-musical benefits of playing an instrument. But one area we haven’t fully explored is the benefits of studying multicultural music. That changes today!

While anyone can benefit from learning about other cultures, the biggest benefits are reaped when education begins young. The brain is developing quickly through this time, which allows for fast and effective learning. That said, with so many options for introducing multiculturalism, choosing what route to take can be difficult. You’ll likely not be surprised to learn our suggestion is to start with music! Music is a universally human expression; people from all cultures and backgrounds use it to convey emotions and experiences, and connect with others. And because of the emotions and connection, music can help teach about another culture’s heritage and values, while providing social benefits as well.

Multicultural Music and Child Development

Introducing children to different cultures helps create tolerance, openness, and effective socialization. These social skills can not only lead to an appreciation for diversity, but also help with forming new friendships and relationships. What’s more, introducing a child to different cultures sparks curiosity. And what better way to explore that curiosity than through exploring a culture’s music? One of music’s most important aspects is its accessibility – anyone can find any kind of music they want, nearly instantly. Thanks to services like YouTube and Spotify, there are countless resources for multicultural music.

While anyone can explore and learn from multicultural music, children tend to develop a foundational understanding of music between birth and five years old. This time is critical, as this foundation can influence their musical lives through adulthood. That makes this the perfect age to explore music from cultures beyond your home.

Create Cultural Awareness

While exploring a culture through its music, children are also introduced to a wider variety of instruments, languages, styles, and even practices from around the world. That makes music a powerful tool for both storytelling and passing on traditions. What’s more, recordings allow children to explore these stories and traditions no matter when and where they are. Children can be exposed to different customs, celebrations, and holidays. Even if some songs are not relevant to them personally, they can still connect with the music. Music is much more than just the lyrics, after all!

Language Skill Development

Did you know that listening to music of another language, while learning that language, is an effective strategy used by many adults? It works well for children too! In fact, music of another language helps children and adults memorize words, understand grammar, and build up their vocabulary. Many songs from a variety of cultures utilize repetition, which helps immensely with this process.

Studies show that learning a second language before the age of 10 results in the most fluency, so it’s never too early to start listening! Add multicultural music to your child’s routine throughout their young life to ease learning as they grow.

How to Bring Multicultural Music to Your Child

Introducing multicultural music is easier than you may think! Here are s few fun activities anyone can try:

  • Play songs your children are already familiar with, such as the ABCs, or BINGO, in different languages.
  • Watch videos of performances of multicultural music. They can then see the instruments, the people, and the place for themselves.
  • If you can play an instrument yourself, try an instrumental song and make up a dance together.
  • Follow along with the lyrics of a sing-along video.
  • Create a playlist of multicultural music and make it a part of your daily routine.

Closing Thoughts

There’s no denying that music is a great way to explore any culture, even your own! The instruments, the lyrics, the tradition, the message, and the people each offer something unique and exciting. And what’s more, there are countless cultures to explore and enjoy. Learning through music isn’t only educational, it’s fun! Try to find ways to introduce a variety of musical forms and styles into your children’s routines to spark their curiosity, introduce new ideas, and celebrate the diversity of human culture.

And one way to do that is to get them into music lessons! Check out all The Music Studio’s programs, and start their musical journey today!