A few months ago I wrote a post entitled Babies Making Music. I shared how babies respond intuitively to music and how they can naturally sing and dance before they talk or walk. As an early childhood music educator, it is a joy of mine to share the love of music with others. So I have decided to start a weekly series entitled Musical Mondays, where I write about the benefits of music in child development and how you can engage with your children in musical activities at home. All of the material that I will be sharing is property of Lynn Kleiner’s Music Rhapsody, a music education program in which I had the honor of teaching before starting a family.
For our first Musical Monday, I thought I would give you a short summary of what baby music classes look like. Within each 45 minute class, parents and babies learn rhymes, lullabies, floor and lap games, actions songs and dances. They also get a chance to play their instruments such as their drum, maraca and bells. Each activity helps to stimulate the babies’ natural response to music.
Having a tough time visualizing a baby rocking out on their drum? Check out this quick video of a baby music class at Music Rhapsody.
ps: How sweet is that BIG drum!
As much fun as those babies are having, the long-term benefits of making music are even more fun. Here are a few highlights of why baby music is such an essential component to child development.
- Music, at a very young age, has a dramatic impact on a child’s language development.
- Timing activities such as floor games and circle dances help to develop motor skills, body awareness and spacial concepts.
- Listening, comparing, and responding to various types of music promotes the development of thinking skills while songs, rhymes and finger games help to strengthen memory.
- Repeating patterns and counting beats develop math and literacy skills.
- Participating in group dances and musical games encourages social skills.
I bet we all knew how cool music was before…but after reading all of the amazing benefits of music for babies, who doesn’t want to crank up the volume of your favorite children’s song and enjoy a circle dance with your little one?
As we move through Musical Mondays I will be sharing in more detail each component of baby music and how you can participate with your baby at home. In the meantime, feel free to check out musicrhapsody.com for all things music including great CDs, puppets and instruments. And for those of you who are early childhood music educators and are looking for some great teaching material, check out Lynn Kleiner’s Music Box, an online music resource filled with articles, lesson plans and videos.