Is my baby too young for music class?
Perhaps the best way to answer that is with another question, “Is your baby too young to hear you speak your language?” In fact we know that babies have already been listening and responding to music, language and other sounds for as much as half of their lives before birth. A child is never too young to hear and respond to music or language.
Have you ever noticed how quickly a crying child stops crying when he hears music? How often does fussing turn to delight when a grandparent picks up a child to sing or dance with her? Music is a powerful force in early childhood because young children's attention is tuned into the sounds around them. Hearing begins in utero at the fourth month, and most children hear well by the time they are born. In fact, in a recent study, infants were able to pick our minute changes in melodies at the age of only one or two months. Six-month-olds are acutely attentive to-and responsive to-musical sounds.
Infants coo, gurgle, and flex their torsos in response to music. Toddlers shake rattles, bounce to the beat, and sing occasional notes. Three-year-olds often have favorite songs and instruments to play and can “lose themselves” in music. Four-year-olds like to have an effect on the activity—creating ways to move or inventing new words to songs. They may play “teacher” and lead the family in their favorite activities at home.
For parents, it is interesting but not crucial to notice particular responses; however, it is crucial to support the child’s music development by providing a musical environment. If we support language, language will develop. If we support music, music will develop. Obviously both language and music can develop to some extend without parental support. But both can develop fully and beautifully with the love and care that parents bring so easily to their children. Therefore, it is essential for parents to be part of the developmental process, not just in language, but in music as well.
This is why the Music Together philosophy works so well. Through materials provided and information received in class, adults are given the tools to become fully involved in their child's early music education, leading to a lifelong love of music.
Reprinted in part with permission of Music Together®, LLC.
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