Music and its effect on emotions

In school, the result of children’s learning show when they confidently (and often randomly) break out into song. Most preschool teachers are aware of the beneficial effects of music in enhancing memory and learning. Thus, many of us teachers choose to sing, use songs, rhymes, music, dance and/or movements to bring their attention to less-than-interesting academic tasks such as memorization.

Having worked with toddlers for almost 8 years, and now having my own children, I have seen how music helped them widen their vocabulary, enhance their memory, get creative, and improve recall.

At the end of last year, my Big Boy brought home his own songbook (collated by his teachers) of songs and rhymes they had learnt throughout the year. He was happily flipping through the pages and singing those songs (sometimes feigning memory loss so that I will sing for him instead). I’ve also had several occasions he’d sing songs and change the lyrics.

“Husband: Raoul, sing Baa Baa Black Sheep for Daddy. I wanna hear.
Big Boy: Baa Baa Black Sheep, have you any wool? Yessa yessa, three bags full. One for Gong Gong, one for Daddy, one for Raylan, one for Mama, one for Mummy (continues singing)…”

Those are proud Mummy moments for me! I’m glad my Big Boy has interest in music (thanks to his school which offered free music enrichment for babies to toddlers), so in future I can send him for music lessons.

And there are good reasons to do so: musicians have enhanced life skills, such as increased alertness, increased attentiveness, better planning, and self-discipline. These are traits that make for a brighter child.



In a recent study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry headed by professor of psychiatry Dr. James Hudziak, the authors found through MRI scans, that the brain’s cortex of musically trained children had increased in thickness in the parts of the brain related to executive functioning, inhibitory control, and the processing of emotions.

Lutz Jäncke, a psychologist at the University of Zurich added that “When you play a musical instrument you have to learn about tone and about scores and your ability to store audio information becomes better. So not only does this make it easier to pick up other languages have a better verbal memory in your own language, we have also seen that musicians are able to pick out exactly what others are feeling just on the tone of their voices. Empathy, disappointment, that kind of thing.”

Even if you do not play an instrument, you do not miss out on the other benefits of music. Music clearly has a hold on our emotions. Why hasn’t it occur to me before, that a single CD was all I needed to solve all the backseat quarrels and tantrums?

Having Old MacDonald Had a Farm on loop has made me realize the true therapeutic power of music. Music, in all its splendour had, since ancient times, a positive effect on mental health. Music has been used in medical settings to help patients through their treatments. Listening to music has been proven to help lift moods, reduce anxiety, and soothe away stress, and even soothe you to sleep.

Personally, listening to or playing on my electone organ, has been my strategy for coping with stress and depression. It may be yours too, or you may start to realize that this strategy will work for you. But be mindful that certain kinds of music such as grunge or metal can induce stress. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you “choose your musical intake as carefully as you choose your food and friends”.

For those wishing to start on your musical journey, come down to Bloom for a chat with our friendly staff!

Visit Bloom at

1)     Our website:

2)     Our Studio: Blk 528 #02-2387, Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 (Above Ang Mo Kio Town Council)

3)     Our hotline: 6458 8854


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