Understanding Music

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Everyone knows that music is good for the soul - but it’s also great for children’s development. So with the educational benefits of music becoming more and more well known and the market for musical toys set to grow over the next five years as demand continues to grow year on year,* it’s a category that no retailer should ignore.

Luckily, wholesale supplier Baby Brands Direct has a broad-ranging choice of product to ensure that retailers can stock all kinds of musical toys to appeal to budding Beethovens, Paul McCartneys and Ed Sheerans - there’s even something for would-be DJs! All from top brands in the category, such as Halilit, Janod, VTech and Infantino.

Musical toys come in a range of price points, from the impulse buy to the Janod Confetti Music Set, which has enough instruments for a family to form a band! No small child can resist banging a drum, shaking a rattle or having a bash on a keyboard, so make sure you have plenty of musical toys in stock to appeal to all those mini musicians out there.

*AMA Research

Understanding Music

Why are musical toys so popular?

Music is such a huge part of our lives, you can’t get away from it. From radio to TV, theatre and the internet, it’s all around us. Scary movie? Not so frightening without those violins in the background. Something sad? Bet it wouldn’t be so heart-wrenching without that mournful piano solo in the background. How many celebrations are without music? Little ones can encounter music at a very early age - they may have listened to music even before they were born! Most parents sing a lullaby as babies are drifting off, and when they get older they head to a toddler group where they learn plenty of nursery songs. So of course they will want to take part - starting with clapping hands and then graduating to making more musical sounds.

Developmental benefits of musical toys

If they are given the opportunity to play with musical toys, babies and toddlers can gain a number of developmental skills. The most obvious are fine and gross motor skills. Bashing a drum, or shaking a bell helps to build and strengthen muscles that they will need as they grow. As they get older, plucking the strings of a banjo or learning to cover the hole on a recorder will train their fingers to learn the fine motor skills needed for writing. Music can even encourage the brain to develop, as researchers at the University of California discovered. Dubbed the ‘Mozart Effect Theory’, the study by Rauscher, Shaw and Ky showed that listening to music encouraged the area of the brain responsible for orientation and spatial temporal reasoning to develop. More recent research by the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences showed that play sessions including music helped nine-month-old babies process new speech sounds.

Learning to play music can encourage patience and creativity. Getting the rhythm right - even if they are simply shaking a tambourine - takes concentration and persistence to get right. Useful skills to nurture! They can also use their own creativity to decide what sound to make when, to compose simple melodies on a xylophone, and even to work with others to create something wonderfully musical. Learning cooperation and teamwork is another benefit.

Emotional benefits

Little ones can also learn to express themselves through music - even before they can really do so with language. Being able to get some frustration out by bashing on that drum, or expressing their joy through singing can be hugely beneficial for toddlers. They can also develop listening skills (for which their teachers and parents will be grateful!). Finally, being able to make sounds independently, can do wonders for children’s confidence. Not only that but by introducing them to the joys of music at an early age they might be on the path to a lifelong hobby, or even a musical career.