The iPad mini launched today, October 23rd, 2012. And eleven years ago today, Apple released the first ever iPod. I don’t think any of us imagined when we were growing up, that tiny devices would hold thousands of songs for us…and that with just one click, we’d be able to listen to practically anything we want, any time and any place our little hearts desired. But I digress, the main point of all this iPad/iPod talk is that it got me thinking about music, how we’re using the iPod for our own little guy’s tunes and the overall benefits and importance of music for our little ones.
It’s a fact that there’s a positive correlation between music and baby’s development. Music has definite effects on the brain, positively impacting language/speech skills, attention, memory and creativity. Many of us think that we should only play classical tunes but research shows that the genre of music doesn’t matter. Instead, it’s the complexity of music…the varying tempos and rhythms, that causes increased brain activity. So go ahead and extend your baby’s selection to include pop, international or any other genre you think your baby will enjoy.
I love music. It’s a part of my life – each and every day. And so naturally, when I was pregnant, I made it a point to listen to a variety of positive music – from classical, to Hindu songs (bhajans), to my favorite deejays who spin electronic. Music made me feel good, kept me calm/de-stressed and I am confident that energy was felt by my babies. When we were setting up Jai’s nursery, one of the first things we decided to purchase was a iPod dock so that we could easily play music in his room. If you choose to play your music through a Hi-Fi instead, take a look at Graham Slee HiFi : to see how you could transform your baby’s listening experience.
We decided to designate one of our old iPods for Jai’s music and started putting together a library of music for him. And although there is no electronic music (not yet anyway!), we have loaded in classical, including Baby Einstein, to Hindu religious songs and several Rockabye Baby! Lullaby albums.
Music whether played through his iPod, sung from our own mouths or created on our own using little instruments has been incorporated into Jai’s daily routine.
Here are some of the ways we make music with Jai everyday:
- iPod – As mentioned earlier, we chose to make one iPod just for Jai’s music, which includes a wide selection of music. We particularly enjoy Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Bob MarleyRockabye Baby! Lullabye Renditions of Bob Marley.
- Instruments – Although Jai’s too young to truly make music, it’s important to introduce rhythm and beats. We have a Little Tikes Baby Tap a Tune PianoLittle Tykes baby piano and also bought a Hohner 4 Piece Baby BandBaby Band set by Hohner and use the instruments to play along to music or songs we sing to him. Jai loves to rock out!
- Baby Mozart – Baby MozartBaby Einstein produced by Disney, created this line of DVDs. Baby Mozart combines various images with classical music. We show this to Jai every day or so for no more than fifteen minutes each time. We sit with him and explain what he is seeing to him. It’s important to know that there is no benefit to just insert the DVD in and plop your little one in front of the computer or TV. The benefit lies in interacting with them while you are watching together and limiting the amount of time you’re spending watching it.
- Incorporate music into tasks throughout the day. We sing a good-morning song, a song when we’re changing diapers and another when it’s time to eat. Plus throughout the day, we end up singing a lot of what we’re doing.
- Musical board books that come with CDs are a good way to introduce songs and reading early on to your little ones.
- Make your own instruments – Create your own drums from empty boxes, plastic bowls, pots and plastic/wooden spatulas and spoons.
- Lullabies – Lullabies soothe babies to sleep by de-stressing them and providing a calming effect. I learned some of the ones that my own mom used to sing to me in our native language, Gujarati. And this book is great for helping you remember the words to classic lullabies and learn new ones too.