Music is powerful magic. It has the ability to soothe a baby to sleep, add festivity and togetherness to a party, trigger aggressive thoughts, and invoke tranquility, peace, and love.
Music is for the soul. It has absolute control over an atmosphere, and it is created from within as a means of creating a feeling on the out. Yes, music is magic…
Infants recognize the melody of a song long before they understand the words, and they often let you know through smiling or crying whether or not the melody speaks to their little hearts. By instinct, parents and caretakers use different kinds of music to help babies and kids to feel calm, and also to express feelings of joy and friendship.
The magic of music continues to infuse the child by developing essential skills for social, emotional, spiritual, and academic survival. It helps the mind and the body to work as a cohesive unit.
Music is Science. Numerous studies show just how effective music experiences are in accelerating brain development, especially in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills.
Learning music in both children and adults help strengthen memory skills, and learning to play an instrument can improve mathematical learning.
Fascinatingly enough, science has shown that when children are exposed to learning how to play music, the neurophysiological distinction between certain sounds aids in their ability to hear and process sounds that they wouldn’t normally hear.
Music is awareness. This skill follows them into the natural world where they may not have otherwise heard a certain bird song, the rustling of the leaves, or the rhythmical – almost musical – melody of the waves crashing on the shore.
Children and adults can reap many benefits from listening to music. However, some studies have shown that in order for someone to fully obtain the benefits of a musical experience, he or she needs to be actively engaged in the music itself.
This includes intentional singing and playing an instrument – full participation. To some, this is extremely daunting. Singing in the car with no one listening is one thing, but jamming away on a guitar and pretending like he knows what he’s doing is another.
Music is peace. But really, it’s ok. Because not only is it possible to still feel the soul of the music by hearing the melody and lyrics but there are options simple enough for anyone to play an instrument. One example… is the lap harp.
Hearing the soft tones of the lap harp, or sometimes called the zither, is captivating. These soft tones are almost alluringly haunting when playing certain songs, and they have caused quite a stir in the medical world for how it’s “cradle of sound” can help to alleviate suffering and help heal as a means of complementary medicine. Foundations such as Bedside Harp and Music for Healing and Transition use trained lap harpists to alleviate medical anxiety in hospital patients as well as playing the harp for end-of-life care.
For children, the lap harp is perfect for a free-roaming classroom like Montessori or Waldorf, instrument-play during music class, or brain breaks in traditional school, because it brings such a serene personal enjoyment to the player without irritatingly disturbing others around her. When used correctly the lap harp can even be played during long car rides. It only takes a few moments of one’s first try to sound as though she has been taking lessons.
The Melody Harp, in particular, lets everyone regardless of musical experience, play beautiful music by simply sliding a song sheet under the strings and plucking the string above each printed note.
It gives children meaningful exposure to practicing with pitch, using stringed instruments, experimenting with musical expression, and learning different types of songs. Montessori Services offers the Melody Harp, extra sheet music (children’s tunes, folk tunes, and Christmas songs), and a carrying case for extra protection and ease of transport. Eventually, the player can graduate to creating her own songs.
Playing a quality lap harp can truly be a stepping stone in developing a deeper love for music. Singing along to the tunes creates a sense of companionship, as well as playing two harps together in a two-part harmony.
The soft sounds of the harp are relaxing and, if used correctly, can help to transport the player and the listener to a place of peace.
Here are some examples of children exploring the Melody Harp. Enjoy ♥
Coming Soon… Make your own music with the Indigo Teacher’s blank rainbow lap harp sheets.