I was inspired to write this post because I had so much fun with my son at his first Kindermusik class today. Music has a powerful effect on humans. For whatever reason, the human brain reacts and responds positively to music. Our brain is wired to learn music just like it learns language. Ever notice how you know parts of a song you have only heard once? Music can change moods and emotions just by pressing play. This is very evident in my speech-language therapy sessions and in raising my son. I always played music in my classroom when I taught first grade as well. It made for such a fun, relaxed classroom environment and settled students right in to working. It makes babies smile, giggle, laugh, dance, move, and jiggle. It can create calm and lazy or wild and crazy. Best of all it builds reciprocal interactions between baby and parents/siblings/caregivers/peers.
Music and song turn frowns upside down and are good for the soul. I play music and sing for my son throughout his entire day, from the time he wakes until he goes to bed. I highly recommend Pandora’s Baby Einstein music channel. My husband and I know all the songs by heart and they run through our heads and out our mouths all day long. I typically play Baby Einstein when my son is playing independently and of course I perform silly movements to the songs. He LOVES it! I think it’s a good idea to play music that mommy and daddy like too. So I alternate baby tunes with reggae, Jimmy Buffett, and country. These are my preference. I also integrate sing-song into our meal times. I make up silly rhymes such as “yummy, yummy, yummy I got bananas in my tummy and I want some more mommy” and “yay it’s snack time, yummy yummy snack time, yay it’s snack time and I can’t wait.” This helps to set a fun, positive meal environment. Try this at your next meal, I bet you will get a smile and happy baby for eating. I also play soothing music during my baby’s nap times which lulls him right to sleep. It seems ancient but I bought a CD player for baby’s nursery. It’s one of my best purchases, we use it everyday. The RockABye Baby CDs are my favorite. I would love to have the entire collection. Music also helps set the stage for concept development such as cleaning up. I don’t know who wrote the Barney Clean Up song but they were genius! I sing it every day with my son to pick up his toys and it worked like a charm in my therapy sessions. You know the one….”clean up, clean up everybody, everywhere, clean up, clean up everybody do your share.” I sing to my baby in the tub, brushing his gums, on the changing table, in a boat, with a goat, in the rain, on a train-ha! If you have a baby that fusses every time you put him/her on the changing table like mine does, try singing a little ditty. You are my sunshine, the alphabet song, and this little light of mine take my little man from cries to smiles.
Music and sing-song increase baby’s engagement and interaction within their environment. Try incorporating music, song, and dance into your child’s day and you’re guaranteed to get lots of sweet baby facial expressions. Songs introduce babies to new vocabulary, rhymes, and rhythms which boosts their language skills…..score! Even if you can’t sing, (and I cannot) SING, your baby will not judge you!
Repeat songs and add motions and movement to your songs and music, this gains babies attention and helps them to learn.