Nothing really prepares a person for the season of life called Parenting. It is one of those things that no one really tells us. After all, parenting feels a bit like playing a game where the rules change constantly. For example, shortly after mastering the perfect origami-like swaddle, our child no longer needs it to sleep through the night. Or maybe we finally figured out how the straps on the stroller work but now our little one insists on crawling or walking everywhere. Sometimes just when we think we got it figured out, baby number 2 arrives on the scene and well, it changes again! One rule will never change: A parent is a child’s first and best teacher.
We celebrate the unique role a parent plays in a child’s life and the life-altering benefits of music throughout each season of parenting and childhood. In fact, even the youngest baby learns through music. One study showed that babies who participate in interactive music classes with their parents smile more, communicate better, are easier to soothe, and show earlier and more sophisticated brain responses to music. That is not all. Here are four more benefits of music for babies.
Here is the list of 4 benefits of baby music class in Singapore
1. Music supports the early stages of language development.
Contrary to what babies sound like at times, they are not turning into a pterodactyl, a creature from the rainforest, or a boat. When we hear babies exploring the wide-range of noises possible with the human voice, mouth, and tongue, they are actually engaging in play—vocal play to be specific. Cooing, babbling, blowing raspberries and, well, screeching like pterodactyls are all part of it.
The vocal play is one of the early stages of language development and parents play a pivotal role. In class, we create many opportunities for vocal play to happen. A baby and caregiver engage in vocal play by touching, gazing, observing, listening, and imitating. All of this vocal play support’s a child’s vocal development by encouraging breath control, the use of the vocal cords, and the coordination of the small muscles in the face and mouth. Plus, the pausing and waiting during vocal play teaches a baby conversational turn-taking.
2. Music helps babies experience patterns.
During the first several months of life, babies follow a predictable pattern. Eat. Sleep. Diaper change. Eat. Sleep. Diaper change. Mathematicians call that an A-B-C pattern. Patterns help babies connect to and learn about the world. From recognizing the facial pattern of two eyes, a nose, and a mouth to hearing the vocal patterns of the common language spoken at home to even responding to the day-and-night pattern and eventually sleeping longer at night!
Babies and young children who learn to identify patterns strengthen their sense of safety and feel happier and more relaxed because they can better predict what happens next. Plus, a solid understanding of patterns eventually leads to success in school, especially in math, science, and reading. Each week in class, babies experience patterns through rhythm and meter, tempo contrasts, dances, language and vocal play and the routine of the lesson flow.
3. Music and movement provide opportunities for fine- and gross-motor skills development
Babies grow by leaps and bounds their first year—or more accurately by grasps and scoots. One minute we hold a newborn who reflexively grasps our finger. Seemingly, the next minute our little baby intentionally reaches up to touch our nose. Whether reaching for a nose, lifting a head during tummy time, clapping, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, or walking, a baby exerts tireless hours to learning how to intentionally move.
Each week in class, we provide many opportunities for a baby to engage in fun, musical activities that support and strengthen each stage of a child’s movement development. From tummy time to playing with baby-safe instruments to gently bouncing a baby in a caregiver’s lap, class activities will support the development of the small and large muscles as well as coordination of more complex movements like eventually kicking a ball, jumping, and even writing.
4. Music helps babies gain active listening skills.
Do we ever just stop and really listen to our surroundings? It is kind of noisy. We might hear the sounds of music, television commercials, the humming of the refrigerator or air conditioner, birds singing, cars driving by, wind blowing, phones buzzing, coffee maker brewing, microwave dinging, someone talking, and more. Thankfully, as an adult, we know how to tune into the sounds that matter most. Babies do not. In fact, young babies hear most of it—including the more than 300 different phonemes, tones, and clicks used to express every single language in the world! To read more about music classes for toddlers in Singapore check here.