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From the moment I had my first child, I felt the instinct, to sing to him. The same with my daughter as well. I have always sung songs to them almost every night. I think it’s very natural, and I’m certainly not alone! No matter how you sing, your baby will know your voice. It’s so natural! I also play violin for my little ones, and we sing songs, take music classes together and play with different instruments that we have at home. Our house is rarely without music.
How early is too early? I personally believe that baby can recognise your voice immediately once born, or even earlier! Check out this article on the timeline of aural development in babies (click here). I’ve been singing to my babies since day 1! I’ve also read studies that a newborn baby can distinguish different sounds right from birth. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (USA), singing to your baby helps with development in so many ways, from bonding to learning to communicate- https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/families/10-ways-babies-learn-sing-to-them
Singing lullabies, or in my case, playing lullabies as well, is so important. According to Psychology Today, “music seems to help optimize an infant’s mood” (click here to read the full article)
Here are some of my favorite songs to sing with my little ones:
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes
The Pumpy-Umpy-Umpkin Song (this is a favourite, they love singing along!)
Silent Night (even though this is a Christmas song, we love it all year around!)
Being a musician, I recorded a Lullaby album, firstly because I wanted to create something special with the abilities I have, for my little one, especially for him. Now our whole family listens to it!
Whatever talents you have….. sing sing sing or play music to your baby! Sending you all lots of love,
Hey everyone! Our home is full of music as you might imagine… and as a musician, you probably think that of course I would be an advocate for music education, and that’s true! I absolutely believe in music education because of the benefits I have received from my studies and my life in music…. and how fun is singing and dancing with your kids?!
As a mom, I can see how music encourages babies to communicate, and is actually a way they can learn to communicate before they can speak (clapping, moving along to music, making those super adorable baby sounds while music is playing). Even just playing music in the house all the time is awesome!
At home, I play different music at different times of the day, with my little ones in mind and when we’re driving we always listen to music and singalong, or just play some relaxing piano music… here’s a little peek into our routine:
My daily music routine at home
1. In the morning I play uplifting music, either children’s nursery rhymes or some uplifting classical or baroque music.
2. When it’s time to sleep, I play calming and relaxing music up to an hour in advance to calm the entire house down after a busy day. My kids love violin music because they see Mummy play violin all the time, so it soothes them- I play my own Lullaby album, Kissed by the Moon, that I recorded before my eldest was born. I also sing to/with my kids at bedtime as well.
3. Sometimes I play different and new types of music and ask if they like it or not, and my eldest likes to describe the music (at his age the descriptions aren’t very long of course!) and this teaches him the confidence to say what he thinks, and he starts to learn to describe things, for example, sometimes he’ll call music that’s a little on the dark side “scary” or “dinosaur music” which cracks me up! This is a really important process to start, and when I validate his answer, he gains the confidence to go further next time and helps with self confidence in general.
4. I take my kids to music class regularly, and we always add it into playtime every day.
Some of my favorite music for bedtime
So this is one of my favorite YouTube channels for relaxing nighttime music…..Click Here …and if you’re little ones like violin like mine do, here’s my lullaby album you can download for your household!
Aside from playing music at home, check out group music classes for your kids! Before the age of 4, I personally don’t think one on one lessons are very effective at that age, but of course, it depends on the child! There are some great classes available, check your local library for sing a long classes, and local music schools. I took my kids to a local program in Calgary called Baby Rhyme Time, and there are follow up programs after that as well. Check out what’s local for you! Take the time if you can! It’s great for bonding with your little one, and amazing for them, and from what I have witnessed with my own children, and my experience as a musician and music teacher, I am certain that music education has HUGE benefits!
The Benefits of Music for Babies and Toddlers
- Music creates is a way to communicate before little ones can speak.
- Helps to create self confidence
- Singing or playing instruments together, even just banging on percussion together, teaches the beginnings of team work.
- In music, there is no one right answer, and this teaches children to think outside the box.
- Music is often written with repeats- the same musical phrase might be repeated a number of times and in a particular order. This teaches children patterns, which helps with other subjects at school as well.
- Learning and memorizing songs and pieces of music helps develop memory.
- Emotional development- music displays a wide range of emotions and can help toddlers and children learn to identify their emotions, from as basic as happy or sad to excited or scared… or my son’s favorite, simply “I feel awesome!”.
My two little peanuts at one of their favorite classes-
There are many, many more benefits as well that I haven’t listed. Do you incorporate music daily into your parenting routine? Do you attend music classes with your kids like I do? What works best for your family? Comment below!
Last month, I had the opportunity to perform at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. Performing for little ones has always been close to my heart- I can’t wait to be a Mum one day. Performing for little ones that are sick however, is heart breaking. I’m so happy to be able to bring some excitement and joy to them! Here are some shots performing in the main area of the Hospital. I was also able to perform for some of the sicker children as well, privately. Seeing them smile and try to move a little to the music just warmed my heart. Children teach us compassion, patience and kindness. Parents to me, are superheroes! Especially those with sick children. I felt so much for those children… I kept thinking of the Bible verse “To whom much is given, much shall be required” (Luke 12:48). May we all give as much as we can of our time, talent and love. Sophie xo