Music isn’t just fun – it could also unlock your child’s full potential

Former Great British Bake Off contestant Enwezor Nzegwu takes part in a 24-hour treadmill relay at Portsmouth University Gym to raise money for cystic fibrosis. Fellow participant Dannii Hutchins gives support. 'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (180224-1)

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From the moment they’re born – in fact, probably even before that – children love music.

It’s an intuitive love, with more than 1000 research studies demonstrating how music training can boost a child’s intelligence, emotional and social development, and self-esteem.

This amazing power is highlighted in a new book, The Music Miracle by musician Liisa Henriksson-Macaulay, which stresses to parents of young children in particular how music training can unlock a child’s full potential.

‘Through my extensive collation of research, I discovered that the only activity proven to increase your child’s intelligence is music training – started between babyhood and seven,’ says Henriksson-Macaulay, pointing out that 96 per cent of brain growth occurs during this period.

‘This is where the brain is at its sensitive development phase, and the neural connections are formed.

‘I wanted to share this message so parents can find a way to help their children that’s not only fun, but makes a genuine difference.’

A mother of a six-year-old boy herself, Henriksson-Macaulay studied 1,200 research papers into the effects of music training.

‘Some of the most recent highlights include the discovery that early music learning gives babies an advantage in mental age, communication and wellbeing, that it develops the full-scale creativity of preschoolers, and that it directly boosts their language abilities.’

Henriksson-Macaulay is keen to point out, however, that this powerful effect, thought to come from the music training helping to develop the connection between both halves of the brain, doesn’t come from children simply listening to music. There needs to be proper training to make children understand rhythm, melody and notation.

The Music Miracle is published by Earnest House, £16.99. Available now.