Every morning my youngest son gets up, gets dressed and we go downstairs where he promptly demands a banana and his music.
Every morning we listen to Pandora play his channel (we started with the Raffi Station, which is now modified to our likes).
We listen to a mix of kids music and music from the 40’s up to today (all kid approved of course). He LOVES his music, the morning is incomplete without it. Once the music starts he spins and wiggles until breakfast…. or he goes an tries to share his banana with the dogs…
Beginning in infancy, and even during pregnancy, babies respond to music. As children grow, music can become an important part of their lives. Music can help children learn about language, math, and the world around them. Children can be exposed to the diversity of our world when listening to music from other cultures (I love the Multilingual Version of Love by Nat King Cole).
Music can help them learn to listen, express their emotions, and build relationships. Pre-verbal children can express their happiness through dance. Many times a sad or grumpy mood can be improved through music. Music can also make everyday tasks more fun. I frequently sing the clean up song with my son when we pick up his toys. That song didn’t come from this book, but Wonderplay is my favorite infant toddler book to go to when looking for a children’s song. It also has a number of activities to do with babies and toddlers.
For older kids this book looks great for making instruments.
Moving to music, playing instruments, and experimenting with materials that make sounds are all helpful in toddler development. The act of doing something while listening, especially to music, can help with learning or in the very least make learning more fun. In addition, there is some evidence that music may build brains. Research has found that classical music may help build connections for spatial reasoning and math skills within the brain.
Here are a couple of good articles I found about children and music:
Beyond Twinkle, Twinkle (this article includes a chart for ages birth to 3)
Plus, here are some great ways to include music in your children’s lives:
- Sing songs that include rhyme, repetition, and word substitution.
- Sing silly sons to play with language.
- Use songs to teach concepts like up and down (The Wheels on the Bus)
- Play a variety of music to introduce different styles of music and music from other cultures.
- Clap to the beat of the music to help children notice patterns.
- Encourage children to move with the music.
- Give children a variety of rhythm instruments to try, including homemade ones.
- Don’t constantly play music in the background. Children will learn to tune the music out.
- Enroll your child in a music program like Kindermusik, Kids Music Round, Music Together or Musikgarden