by LouAnne Dunfee, Dir., Family Music Time
Music is an essential element in babies learning and development. Babies are musical beings and are fascinated by music from birth. (Jen Hart) You can see right away in class that babies are fascinated when a room full of adults are singing and moving using only their own voices and bodies as instruments! We do use the CD sometimes in class but babies will learn much better without it. Research has shown that babies build some important neural connections in their brain when trying to pick out their important grown-up’s voice in a group of singing adults!
According to Harvard psychologist, Howard Gardner (1983), music intelligence is equal in importance to logical-mathematical intelligence, linguistic intelligence, spatial intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence & intrapersonal intelligence. Do you know that making music is as much a basic life skill as walking or talking? (Peery & Peery 1987) Babies will learn to sing and move to
music as easily as they learn to walk and talk if they see their Mommies or Daddies (or caregivers) doing it. An important thing to remember is the babies learn this regardless of the adults’ musical ability!
Surround your baby with music. Music assists in the development of speech. Don’t just play music on the radio or CD player. You should sing nursery rhymes and simple songs which will teach the babies how language is constructed and will assist with the acquisition of language. Also, replace the words to simple tunes with nonsense sounds such as ba, la, doo, etc.
Infants can imitate and experiment with their vocal instruments: and even match pitch as early as three to four weeks of age. Purposeful singing can begin at around twelve months. At this time, adults can recognize snippets of songs to which youngsters have been exposed. Through continued exposure to spoken chants, songs, and vocal play, young children can develop the use of their singing voices during the remaining early childhood years. (Lili M. Levinowitz)
Babies enjoy experiencing music and movement together. Teach songs with actions and encourage your baby to dance along to the music. Movement helps babies learn balance, coordination, body awareness and rhythm. Getting your baby to play an instrument will help with her creative development and help develop her fine motor skills. (Jen Hart)
To learn more about babies and music you can try a free music class demo by going to familymusictime.com and registering for a babies class or join in a mixed age class too. You can also visit musictogether.com to see important information about this early childhood music program that has been around since 1987 and now is taught all over the world!
Hope to make music together with you soon!