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The Benefit of Music

Love and nourishment are the keystones of healthy development for every baby. But next is music; in fact sometimes it is hard to tell them apart! Babies hear sounds and feel the rhythm of the heartbeat in the womb. When they are born, they associate their experience of our moods with the sounds around them; loving voices are soothing, while sudden loud noise is distressing.

As you nurse, the steady beat of your heart is baby’s experience of rhythm. As you sing, shake baby’s rattle or bells, baby is responding to the high frequency sounds and the drama in your voice. Newborns have been crooned to since the dawn of time; we rock them, singing lullabies - and for good reason: it is fundamental to healthy development! Early learning begins in the senses – through touch, taste,smell, sight and hearing. And learning is faster when baby can focus on simple things, one at a time, (even if only for a micro-second!) Neural pathways are rapidly developing as they taste a particular taste or hear a particular sound.

Though babies respond to all sound, there is a natural progression taking place, from simple isolated sounds and songs on a parent’s lap, through to the full orchestration of music on the radio, and sophisticated singalong songs for older kids. In any arena ‘you gotta crawl before you can walk’. We don’t expect children to behave like adults, so why is it that so many parents, in effect, force their children to ‘jump’ straight out of the nursery into the world of adult music? Our mature taste dominates our adult world, but why do we let it dominate the child’s?

Benifita of Music

Quality children’s music is a response to the genuine developmental needs of the young, rather than an adults’ world imposed upon them. While good children’s music also often communicates on an adult level, this is only to delight us into keeping involved for our children’s sake. It is crucial for full, healthy development that we let our children progress from simple nursery songs, through dance and action songs, to a wealth of stimulating songs set in their own world as they grow. They need children’s music, because they are children!

Like us, they need music that celebrates their issues, their struggles, their victories, music that appeals to their sense of humour. And like us, they need to be able to be transported listening to it or to be moved to dance or sing to it. If they are going to watch, let it be a live performance.

Quality children’s music, in an atmosphere of love:

  • Promotes healthy parent-child bonding
  • Establishes a foundation for a child’s development in speech and reading
  • Provides a "good-feeling" base for a healthy self image
  • Helps to develop motor skills and co-ordination
  • Helps build memory skills
  • Awakens humour and creativity
Benifita of Music

The "live" music you do with your child is the most valuable. Recorded children’s music also stimulates infants and can aid parents in learning songs and games to sing directly with them. It is never too early to start.

Next time you’re thinking of a new toy for your child, consider giving them music; rather than DVDs, just music or musical toys. Children tire of many toys very quickly, but note how often they come back to their musical instruments and how often they ask for their favourite albums to be played!

Music is primal. And perhaps it is the one worldly thing that can take us through our emotional world to touch the sublime. Our children not only deserve music, it is an essential ingredient in being human.