The Benefits of Introducing Music to Babies and Young Children
Jenny Silverstone has a great blog about parenting called momlovesbest.com
link here to her blog post about the benefits of introducing music to children
She asked me to write a small post on my experiences with Music and Child Development so here it is...
There has been so much written about how music is helpful to young children and babies. You only have to google the subject and hundreds of articles appear. University and pediatric studies, focus groups and mom’s blogs all outline in detail the benefits of music on child development.
My experience has been from the perspective of a musician and performer. I am the founder of a children’s music program called We Kids Rock in the Delaware/Philadelphia area. The program consists of music classes for children from birth to 5 years old with their parents/care-givers in 3 locations as well as appearances in preschools, libraries and music venues. I teach guitar lessons for children to adults and have produced and recorded 6 CDs of kids/family music.
The first thing I think about when I see new babies and toddlers come to my classes with their parents is how valuable that time spent together is. We Kids Rock may be the very first activity in a long list to come that these parents and children will experience together. This class will hopefully be something that they will remember and cherish for the rest of their lives. I watch the children start out shy and maybe a little overwhelmed to fully participating. By the end of the session, they are clapping, moving, dancing (and singing for some of the older kids). It’s great to watch the progress in such a short time.
As part of our music program the participants receive a cd or an online playlist of our home-grown material which features originals and traditional children’s music. After listening to the playlist at home or in the car with their parents, some of the kids have favorite songs that they must hear us sing in class. Some know the words to the songs better than the teachers do!
Another thing about the classes that I love to witness is when the babies start to clap and make sounds that resemble singing. It’s like they’re imitating the song in their own way. It is magical and hysterically funny at the same time. Moms and dads send me videos frequently of their kids singing and rockin’ out in class or at home to our music.
While this may not be the most technical read about music and child development, the bottom line is that what I see from the parents, babies and toddlers in my classes is joy, discovery and so much love. I truly feel fortunate to be a part of their experience as parents and to be a positive force in the life of so many children.
My emphatic advice to all new parents is to include music in their children’s lives as much as possible in every stage of their development.
June 13, 2018