Here are 10 reasons your baby/toddler should learn music:
1. During musical activities, the body, voice, and brain are united for processing as well as enjoyment all at the same time. This makes the “neurotransmitters” in the brain very happy and naturally just enhances faster learning that is FUN!
2. Singing and listening to music just naturally bridge language. It is much easier and more fun to learn words by singing them. Plus, it increases self esteem.
3. It is important to tell your little one the names of EVERYTHING, even when they are babies, even though they are not quite speaking our language yet. They understand SO many concepts before they can actually say the words. Repetition, repetition, repetition. This is why in Kindermusik, we say “good bye” to everything we put away, because it helps bridge language as well enhancing name recognition of instruments and more.
4. When we sing, when mommies breast feed, when we dance with our little one to music, (especially classical music), there is a hormone that is released in all of us called “oxytocin”. It is a very calming hormone. We can never have too much of that, right?
5. There is a very popular activity that we do in Kindermusik called “I hear a sound”. I show the children an instrument, I play it, I say the name of it and the parents repeat the name of it. These brilliant children may not see the same instrument for two weeks, but out it comes out of the bag, and they can remember the instrument’s name and say it out loud! This activity is also GREAT for deepening the children’s listening skills, by watching, listening, and learning. Joining learning with fun and exploring with dance/movement and music is the Montessori way and is imperative in my classes. It is the only way I like to learn! 🙂
6. Bilateral stimulation for babies and children is very important. By this I mean, using the opposite sides of our bodies to connect. Marching is a good example. One foot goes up, the other foot goes down. We do this without even thinking but when you are learning,this activity as a child, it jump starts the neurotransmitters in the brain and it is a forerunner for learning to ride a bike, tie your shoes, and more. There are many movements to music that we do in class and you can do at home that enhance this kind of learning.
7. Exploring and playing instruments like drums and resonator bars is not only so much fun for ALL OF US, but if you have ever given a 6 month old a drum and mallet and put some music on…..first thing they will do is put the mallet in their mouth, especially if they are teething, but then they just can’t help themselves and they start bopping there hips around and playing that drum! When you give these brilliant babies and children instruments…they know what to do. It always astounds me. Music is magical and instruments are such a catalyst to joy!
8. Music teaches manners. There are times in class where we must be very still when the puppets come out or the “I hear a sound” collection. We take instruments out and we put them away. They put them away I should say. And they learn how to respect the instruments and be careful with them. Even the wee ones…the six month olds. They learn so much from watching others, and from the encouragement of their Mommy or caregiver as well.
9. The children that show a deep hunger and yearning for music start playing the drums with a mallet in each hand at a very early age, or they are able to play the drums with one hand and play the harmonica at the same time. This is demonstrated on our Facebook page by one of our 2 year olds!
10. Meltdowns. We all have them. Singing, circle songs and finger play songs come in VERY handy when your little one has just had enough and can’t let you know exactly what they need right away. A bridge to calmness is welcomed by all, and these little tricks, like the Beehive finger-play song, are a pleasant distraction. If the meltdown is in a mall or a restaurant, and you are willing to be silly…just singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Wheels on the Bus or their favorite song takes them away from their distress for those precious seconds ..the mind gets a rest, and voila! Your child is back!
We are so grateful to have Ashley share this with our Chai Mommas community and if you have any questions or ideas about how music can help your children, be sure to comment below!
By the way…Who is Miss Ashley?
Ashley learned alot about fun, music, and learning right from the start by being the third oldest of seven children. Music can lead to career for many, these days it is more accessable then ever! You can get the best preamp under $200 to begin recording your own music. The neighbors could hear her Dad’s whistling a mile down the road and the kids were always putting on musicals and concerts for the whole neighborhood whether they liked it or not! They were equipt with costumes and a portable music stand to make it as “professional” as possible! Growing up in a family of 7 children, was the most chaotic, joyful experience ever and only enhanced her love for children, music and family. She was one of the first successful women sales reps for IBM in Worcester Massachusetts. She graduated with a double major in Theatre and Communications and received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Northern Colorado. She also attended the Family Light Music School in Sausalito, California and learned Belacanto Italian style opera vocal technique. She even had fun touring around the wild west with Jessie Colin Young, Neil Diamond and John Denver, back in the day! In 2006, Ashley had the honor of singing a concert for 100 blind children in Calcutta India. She enjoyed being a head teacher at pre schools in California and received the International Teachers Excellence Award for The Gymboree Play and Music Center in Boca Raton, Florida. Currently she enjoys being a zany, silly, clever, sing/song character to Laila and many other children here in sunny southern California. For more info visit: http://ashleysmusikids.com.
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