mom reading to her baby“Again! Again!” It is not a coincidence that young children ask to read the same book 22 nights in a row. While the adults involved may secretly (and not so secretly) wish for more diversity, all that repetition strengthens the learning or growth of neural connections in children’s brains.

Repetition is good for children. In fact, it’s how they learn. A one-time experience is not enough for a neural connection to form and stabilize. Children need repeated exposure to an experience. Each time an experience is repeated the neural connection grows stronger. Think about it. Even as adults, we don’t usually learn how to do something the very first time we try it. According to Conscious Disciple, for a child to learn a new skill or concept, it takes 2,000 times in context. Whoa! That is a lot of readings of Good Night Moon!

Repeated exposure also helps children become comfortable with new objects and experiences. So, for example, in a Kindermusik class the first time we bring out a new instrument children may only want to watch it being played, but the next week they might decide to try playing it, and the next week they may try suggesting a new way to play it.

Why We Love Repetition in Music

Musical repetition can be heard across most musical genres around the world. There are reasons for it, too. According to the TEDx video, “Why We Love Repetition in Music,” people actually prefer familiar music. During repeated passages or songs, listeners shift their attention and hear or notice different sounds. (By the way, this happens with repeated readings of the same book, too!) In one scientific experiment, people even rated music with repetition as more enjoyable and more interesting.

Watch the TEDx video here:

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

Kindermusik Tip: Tap into a child’s love of and need for repetition. Repeat songs and re-read books to children. (It’s one of the reasons we repeat songs, stories, and activities from week to week!) Point out different sounds and instruments or fast and slow parts of the music. In books, make note of the illustrations in the story—the different shapes, colors, or even the numbers of objects on the page.

Find out more about Kindermusik at

Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell, a freelance writing living in the Atlanta area.
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