Children begin their musical journey before they are even born. Babies can hear in their mother’s womb from around the 16th week of pregnancy, and this is their most developed sense when they are born. They bond with their mums through the tones of her voice, they learn to turn their head towards sounds that catch their attention, and they love nothing more than shaking a rattle when they are able to. This is your baby responding to music, before they can do anything else – it’s really quite amazing! Their musical education has already begun.
You do not need to spend lots of money expensive classes or music lessons while your child is young. There are so many things you can do at home to kickstart their musical education!
Why do music?
Engaging your young child with music has so many benefits. Lullabies and familiar tunes help to soothe and comfort them when they are upset or going to sleep. Playing with drums, shakers, and other simple percussion instruments helps their cognitive development, as they learn to move their limbs to create different sounds. Nursery rhymes help hugely with their language development, and are a great way to play with your baby. Studies also show that having music playing in the background helps with learning other things, by helping to focus and concentrate the mind. Having a house that is filled with music also creates a happy environment, in which great memories can be made.
Where to begin
So, how can you begin your child’s musical education at home? Try these simple ideas to begin with:
- Sing nursery rhymes at every opportunity! If you go to feed the ducks, sing Five Little Ducks. When the stars come out at night, sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. And when you’re changing your baby’s nappy, find time for a verse of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.
- Listen to a wide range of music, all the time! Have music playing from the moment you wake up in the morning, to the time you go to bed. Let it accompany your car journeys, your mealtimes, and your play. Have it on in the background, and let it set the mood for your day.
- Dance with your children! Dancing is great for the soul, and kids will love to watch you dance, and to dance with you. Help them to find their feet and a sense of pulse, by having a regular boogey!
- Build a treasure chest of fun and engaging instruments. Include a drum, a shaker, a triangle, and a tambourine to begin with. This will set their musical imagination alight!