Busting Baby Myths Part Four
July 26, 2019
Myth Four: Little babies can’t appreciate a music class, and as an adult, “I can’t carry a tune in a bucket!”
Truth: In Kindermusik class, our goal is not to create musicians (or evaluate your musicality!), but to share with you how music and movement are fundamental to your baby’s growth and development.
I understand that the idea of vocal participation might seem intimidating, but remember what I said, we are a “No Judgement Zone”. And secondly, your baby is your “Number One Fan”! You will be surprised how intuitive our activities are for you, and how ready your baby is to enjoy and respond to every sound you make.
In fact, your baby has been responding to sounds for some time now. This graphic is fascinating to me – just look at how musical your baby is even before she is born!
Let’s make some noise together!
Music is good for you too. Several research studies have proven that singing will boost your immune system. That’s a good thing because we all know moms can.not.get.sick. Music really is good for everyone in many ways. In a Kindermusik class, we want to bring you this power by empowering you to “embrace music as an essential part of your daily life.”
So, I think I’ve got you singing a little bit more, but have you heard your baby!? Wow! They have so much to say. And, no they are not just exercising their mouth. Listen to their sounds – they have four distinctive categories that develop as their body develops, but also as their brain develops. They are very influenced by how much YOU engage them!
Can we talk?
They grow from the nasal creaking/fussy sounds of newborns, then to resonant vowels as their vocal tract opens up – the beautiful cooing! Then they have some marginal syllables when the long coos and oooohs get some consonants with the further development of the mouth, and then – yep: Baby’s first word. The canonical syllables. Dada, mama, baba, etc.
An expert in this area is Rachel Albert, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA. She says that parents respond to only sixty percent of the thousand vocalizations their baby may make in a day. These are opportunities to connect, to converse, and to help your baby learn! A babbling baby is a developing mind that is receptive to new information.
Music and so much more.
The ways we enjoy music in class are not limited to singing and vocal play. We also share safe instruments for your baby to explore, and manipulatives like peekaboo scarves, textured snap beads, sensory balls, and unbreakable mirrors. We spend a lot of time where baby is doing her important work – on the floor. Baby exercises, infant massage, joint and reflex stimulation, and lots of HUGS that make your child smart, happy, and resilient. You will benefit from all the oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin too – as I said previously, we call it “JOY JUICE”!
Music and rhythm creates connection*, because, according to Laura Cirelli, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto,
“Synchronous movement is its own kind of language—a language of affection. When we are moving with other people [and] singing familiar songs, these are cueing us, babies and adults, to think about the relationships we have with these people.”https://www.wbur.org/npr/610796636/baby-talk-decoding-the-secret-language-of-babies
Moving with your baby in your arms is making some brain magic happen. She is tracking with her eyes and gaining visual coordination, her vestibular system is adjusting and cuing her brain connections related to balance, coordination, and confidence.
A Kindermusik Foundations class is not a voice lesson for you, and it is not just a music class for your baby. Our desire is to strengthen the bond you have by giving you more skills and information for your parenting toolbox. We want to work together with your family to support your child’s development. We want you to feel connected in our KMWG community. Yes, MUSIC is where we start, because it is in all of our heartbeats.
Please join us in a Foundations class with your little Freshie.
All you need is your love for one another.
No tune-carrying buckets required.
Special thanks to my Kindermusik colleagues who contributed their thoughts and experiences to the content of this article.