How Can Music Therapy Help Your Three Year Old Meet Developmental Milestones?

You’ve Made it Through the Terrible Twos, How Can Music Therapy Help Your Child Through Year Three?

Watching your child grow up is a beautiful but at times overwhelming process. There are so many developmental milestones that a child goes through in their early years. From the ages of three to four, a child goes through a lot of changes in how they are interacting with the people and things around them. Watching your child go through these shifts is an exciting process, but it can be difficult if you feel that your child may be struggling to meet those milestones. 

Music therapy is an incredible way to address those concerns and has been shown to increase cognitive and physical development in young children.

You will be able to find all the following helpful information in this blog post:

  • What developmental milestones do most children reach at three years old?
  • What does music therapy look like for a three year old?
  • What are the benefits of music therapy for three year olds in their development process? 
Young child pointing to drawings on a pa
It is amazing to see a child start to ask questions about what is going on around them, this means they want to learn about how the world functions and indicates that they are growing as a learner.

What developmental milestones do most children reach at three years old?

There are many resources out there that will tell you what developmental milestones your three year old should be reaching. As a refresher, here are some of the ways that your child may be growing and changing at the age of three. 

In terms of language, most three year old children will be able to say their own names and respond to simple questions. Children of this age also typically know how to speak anywhere from 250 to 500 words. Children of this age may not be able to speak in complete sentences, but they will likely be able to put together sentences of five to six words. 

As for cognitive developmen, children at this age tend to ask a lot of questions. Although being asked a lot of seemingly simple questions might get irritating for you as a parent, it means that your child is trying to understand the world around them and grow! 

Young boy lying down flipping through a book and wearing big round glasses.
Making sure that your child is reaching the developmental milestones that other kids their age are reaching can be stressful and music therapy is a great way to encourage this kind of development.

What does music therapy look like for a three year old?

Music therapy (for someone of any age group) consists of a few things. Depending on the music therapist, the tools being used will differ. Most music therapists will combine playing music with listening to music. When working with people a bit older, a music therapist may even work on writing original music during a session. For the three to four year old age group, a music therapy session may be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour long. During a session, your child’s music therapist might work to memorize a song with them. They also might listen to a piece of music and ask your child what they thought of it, or how it made them feel. All of these things help a child engage with music both on a physical and mental level and encourage future development . 

Two children both wearing yellow playing with a trainset
Music therapy can help children with more than just expressing their emotions, it can drastically improve their fine motor skills, spatial awareness, and so much more!

What are the benefits of music therapy for three year olds in their development process?

Music therapy is an incredible resource for any age group. It can help people work through and express certain emotions they may be struggling with. With children ages three to four, there is so much to be gained from engaging with music therapy. At the age of three, most children are at a stage of development where their language and fine motor skills are becoming more refined. 

If your child is struggling with these stages of development, then music therapy is a wonderful way to address those concerns. Music therapy can help children get a better grasp of language because it is being evenly split up between beats in the music that they may be playing or listening to. It is often difficult for children to adapt to the intonations and rhythms that adults are familiar with in speech. Hearing words in songs allows them to break up the words more clearly and get a better understanding of them. Music therapy can also help a child improve his/her fine motor skills. If a child is learning to play an instrument in a music therapy session, or playing around with an instrument, they are exercising those fine motor skills.

Children at this age will likely find music therapy to be a great way to express their emotions. They tend to have a lot of energy, and the excitement of engaging with music is an excellent way for them to express excitement and use up some of this energy. 

All in all music therapy has a great deal to offer.  If you have a child who is approaching their third year and you want to make sure they have every opportunity to grow and develop, then music therapy is a great option for you.  Contact Incadence for more information, if interested.

Edited by Cara Jernigan on January 19, 2021

Lily Taggart
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