Expert Advice

Music to my (y)ears

Music to my (y)ears

Music is the most powerful memory generator among Brits - with two thirds (67%) of us believing that it evokes more memories than the smell of mum’s cooking, the taste of school dinners and toys we played with when we were young.

New research to mark the launch of the Nick Jr. Sing-Along Summer reveals that nine in ten Brits (89%) say music that they enjoyed during childhood evokes strong positive memories, taking them back to happy times like school discos, summer holidays, long car journeys and first kisses.

More than half (56%) feel nostalgic when they listen to TV theme tunes such as Magic Roundabout, Button Moon and Pink Panther and a third (32%) are transported back in time by the smell of home cooking. A similar number (30%) are reminded of times past by certain treats and sweets they enjoyed when they were little.

More than a quarter (28%) start reminiscing through seeing certain objects from their childhoods, such as toys, cuddly animals and games and one in seven (13%) say they look at an old outfit and it transports them back to another time and place.

Nearly two thirds (62%) of Brits are reminded of their childhood by pop songs of old – with artists such as Kylie Minogue (18%), the Spice Girls (15%) and Duran Duran (14%) triggering happy memories of our youth.

Hearteningly it seems that Brits are keen to share the power of music with their children. 46 per cent encourage their offspring to listen to the same songs that generated positive memories for them when they were young. Three quarters (74%) regularly sing with their children to keep them entertained (72%), encourage bonding (49%) and help with their learning, speech and vocabulary (87%).

86 per cent parents enjoy music with their little ones up to 15 times per day, and more than one in ten (12%) incorporate singing as part of their daily routines such as brushing teeth and bedtime stories.

And it’s not just ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ they’re singing. A third (32%) perform Taylor Swift tracks together, 30 per cent enjoy Mark Ronson’s tunes, a similar number (30%) sing TV theme tunes and 7 percent even get their kids belting out grunge classics by Nirvana.

Dr Sam Wass, Investigator Scientist at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, said: “The urge to make music – to sing, and to dance – goes back to our earliest roots as humans. Some of the oldest human artifacts ever discovered show that prehistoric humans loved to sing, and to dance – just as we do now.

“For most people, many of their earliest personal memories are of music. This is because music targets the same, deep-level parts of the brain that are involved in regulating our emotions and where many of our earliest, and strongest, memories are stored. Music allows us to unlock them. The Nick Jr. Sing-Along Summer is designed to encourage families to sing together to create musical memories of their own.”

The nationwide Nick Jr.’s Sing-Along Summer is giving families the chance to sing together with special karaoke versions of Nick Jr. favourites such as Dora and Friends: Into the City!, Peppa Pig and Alivinnn!!! and the Chipmunks on air every day from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm and 5:00pm- 8:00pm from today, Friday, 17th July  until 6th September.

Nick Jr. is also giving budding singers the chance to enter a competition to sing on national TV, with the very best featured on Nick Jr. at the end of August. For more information, visit where parents can submit videos of their children singing at home and enter the competition remotely or parents can visit the Nick Jr. UK Facebook page.

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