When it comes to baby music, one of the main concepts we teach little ones is the idea of the steady beat. The steady beat is the constant, unchanging pulse of the music. Like a metronome, it continues on through the song, regardless of the rhythm. If you think about it, the idea of the steady beat isn’t so foreign to our little ones. Having spent 9 months inside our wombs, listening to the sensation of the heart beating, babies are born with an innate sense of rhythm. Learning this idea of the steady beat will help to create the foundation for timing, among other skills.
Teaching the steady beat to your baby is simple and fun. A great way to introduce this concept to your baby at home is to tap on their bodies whenever music is present. As you listen to your favorite songs together, you can tap the steady beat on your baby’s back, tummy, knees, head, anywhere! Feel free to be as creative as you want. Continuing to find new ways to teach the same concept introduces repetition with variety. The same can be done with rocking, or swaying or bouncing them on your legs. The goal is that they are feeling it within their bodies, because physical touch is the way babies learn best.
The benefits of learning the steady beat go beyond music itself. As child and parent move to the pulse together, babies coordination improves. As they grow, this feeling of steady beat will help with skills such as marching, skipping, galloping and overall performance in sports. Studies also indicate that learning the steady beat helps with reading. Many times we find it easiest to learn new things such as an addresses, phone numbers or spelling when it is put it to a beat and rhythm.
So as you can see, this idea of the steady beat is important for your child’s development as a whole. And it will be a reoccurring theme as I introduce you to other activities you can do with your baby at home. But in the meantime, simply tapping, swaying and bouncing is a great way to instill the sense of the steady beat into their bodies.