Singing to Your Babies and Children
Babies love being sung to. Singing is not only good for babies and children – it is also great for parents too. Apart from giving you, the parent, a feeling of well-being (especially after being up half the night!) it helps you with breathing, posture, circulation and confidence.
The most important voice or voices to a baby is that of its parents. So whether you are confident in your singing voice or not, your baby would rather hear you sing than anyone else. Babies love to hear the rise and fall in tonality and can understand the emotion being conveyed, even though the words themselves are not clearly understood yet. Often when you are singing to your baby you have close physical and direct eye contact which helps with bonding and conveys a strong sense of love and belonging.
According to recent research, babies are born with perfect pitch. They pick up small changes in tone which helps them learn to speak. It seems that they lose this ability unless they are introduced to song and music at an early age. This early introduction to music can obviously begin at home but it is also a good idea to join a pre-school music class. There are many benefits from joining such a group.
Baby Classes (0 to 18 months)
Music helps develop five main areas: Emotional, Physical, Cognitive, Social and Linguistic.
- It establishes patterns of brain development, most important for a young baby since the brain is still forming,
- Activities such as dance are helpful in the development of balance and eye tracking,
- It helps with sensory awareness, thus helping babies to learn and understand about themselves and their world.
Sharing and making music together is a great way to have fun and to make new friends.
- Singing and chanting rhymes help with speech and language development
- Dancing helps with spatial awareness, creativity and large motor skills
- Percussion playing helps with co-ordination
- Listening to a wide variety of songs and music helps with the development of language and maths
- Active listening develops concentration
- Ensemble playing helps children to socialise and become more confident. They learn faster by watching their peers and at a very early age they become aware that one of the great joys in life is making music together while having fun!!
Music stimulates every part of the brain so, mums and dads, keep on singing!!
Information provided by Frances Donkin, Rhythm Time coordinator for the Cheshire and Stoke area. Contact on 01270 884583