Music in the Early Years
Music is the universal language that can be enjoyed by people all over the world of all ages. Even before a child is old enough to start up a musical instrument, they can start enjoying and learning about music. This will lay a great foundation for their appreciation for music and their aptitude for learning later.
Did you know that your unborn baby can enjoy music as early as 16 weeks? And it's a great idea to introduce them as early as possible. Music can soothe the mother, which in turn soothes the baby. Listening to music during pregnancy can also promote a healthy bonding between baby and mother. Music has a very positive effect on the brain development of the fetus as well. It stimulates their brain tissue, and facilitates in growth. Listen to music regularly, sing too, as this can help with mother and baby bonding.
0 to 12 months
From 0 to 4 months, a newborn reacts to sounds, and by 3 months of age, they can turn their heads to find the source of the sound. This is a great time to explore different musical sounds with your little one. Lay them on their back and sing to them while you gently clap their feet or hands together. you may even find that they will start moving to the music a little! Little ones start to bounce and rock to music at just a few months old. They are able to respond to different moods of music and mentally organize the sound. This is a great time to introduce them to music, even though they are not able yet to make their own music or sing. They love listening!
1 to 2 years
Toddlers love to listen to and participate in music. By the age of one, they can tell the difference between loud and soft and sad or happy music. They start to recognize specific tunes and develop favorite ones. Learn your toddler's favorite song and sing it with them. You can have fun by inflecting your voice different way and making up fun hand motions or stomping your feet to the music. Your toddler will love to participate and might even try to sing themselves. This is also a great age to introduce them to their own musical instruments. You can use maracas, tambourines, small drums, kazoos, anything you can think of that is not too delicate of an instrument. Toddlers especially love to explore rhythm on percussive instruments.
Music not only benefits your little one, but it also benefits you, so listen to all types and explore your favorites and your child's favorites as well. Later on, your child can learn how to play all their favorite tunes on the instrument of their choice. Enjoy making and listening to music!