Music is an artistic expression in the form of dancing, singing and playing musical instruments. Music should be an essential part of a child’s rearing. In my view, music is among the highest and most important forms of communication. Music offers lifelong opportunities for the development of imagination, sensitivity, inventiveness, risk-taking and enjoyment.

Everyone is born with some embryonic kind of musical intelligence. It involves the process of sound as opposed to language and is one of the first intelligences to develop. Nature provides the basic musical ingredients for nurture to cultivate. The whole process begins in the womb.

By playing music and singing to your baby, as you relax, he can experience a simple form of learning in the uterus. Playing Haydn or Mozart during pregnancy won’t make your baby a musical genius but he may recognise and be soothed by it when he hears it again as a newborn.

Music is an artistic expression in the form of dancing, singing and playing musical instruments. Music should be an essential part of a child’s rearing. In my view, music is among the highest and most important forms of communication. Music offers lifelong opportunities for the development of imagination, sensitivity, inventiveness, risk-taking and enjoyment.

Everyone is born with some embryonic kind of musical intelligence. It involves the process of sound as opposed to language and is one of the first intelligences to develop. Nature provides the basic musical ingredients for nurture to cultivate. The whole process begins in the womb.

By playing music and singing to your baby, as you relax, he can experience a simple form of learning in the uterus. Playing Haydn or Mozart during pregnancy won’t make your baby a musical genius but he may recognize and be soothed by it when he hears it again as a newborn.

When you choose a musical baby mobile for the crib the music should be relaxing, i.e. bedtime nursery rhymes, classical music or nature and seasons sounds, always worked best for me. Music helps with bonding, especially with dads, having to soothe baby back to sleep whilst swaying to the beat of a lovely melody.

Music stimulates and stirs emotions in babies promoting physical, emotional and intellectual development. This is a whole learning period for baby and he is unaware of this natural complex, simply enjoying listening to the music.

There are several benefits when one allows their child to create sounds by themselves through the use of rhythmic instruments such as a piano gym. At an early age, a child is able to start learning about rhythm. While learning this, they can also start developing their motor skills as they hold their musical instruments and use it. Playing with musical instruments can help children develop their social skills. This is mainly because they will most likely start to play music when they are in school because they tried practicing it at home. As a result, they will be able to socialize with others because of this skill such as making a musical group.

The Importance of Music for Babies and Children


Age, Musical Milestones & Musical Activities.

Age – Birth – 3 Months
Music Milestone – Alerts and calms to music; prefers infant directed singing: coos/cries
Music Activity – Sing lullabies; gently rock and pat to music.

Age – 3 – 6 Months
Music Milestone – Musical babbling; repetitive movement in response to music; turns to the source of music; prefers higher pitched voices.
Music Activity – Imitate baby’s babbling; provide shakers, bells and simple rhythm toys, bounce gently to music.

Age – 6 – 9 Months
Music Milestone – Occasionally matches pitch; larger repetitive movements; recognizes familiar melodies; uses descending vocalizations.
Music Activity – Imitate spontaneous songs; play pitch matching games using “la-la” or “loo-loo”; easy finger plays songs; nursery rhymes with movement.

Age – 9 – 12 Months
Music Milestone – “Sings” spontaneously; recognizes and attempts to sing along with familiar songs.
Music Activity – Provide songs for different activities like wake-up/bath time/bedtime, etc.; variety of recorded music; drums and xylophones.

Age – 12 – 18 Months
Music Milestone – Dances to music; pays attention to lyrics; sings snippets of learned songs; more pitch matching; starting to match movement to music.
Music Activity – Dance baby on your feet; sing simple songs/chants/nursery rhymes; songs with repetitive chorus like E-I-E-I-O and B-I-N-G-O.

Age – 18 – 24 Months
Music Milestone – Looks for dance partners; spins, marches to music; spontaneous songs have steady rhythm; able to imitate songs; lyrics more accurate than pitch.
Music Activity – Experiment with different voices (big/little/high/low); Make sounds with voice to encourage vocal range (sirens, birds, animal noises)

Age – 2 – 3 Years
Music Milestone – Learns singing vs. speaking voices; sings in different keys and meters; matches pitches constantly; some instrument discrimination.
Music Activity – Play guessing games with familiar songs and instruments; repetitive rhythmic accompaniment to singing e.g. “If you’re happy and you know it”

Age – 3 – 4 Years
Music Milestone – Begins to discrimination between familiar instruments; uses rhythm instruments to accompany their songs; melodic contour is intact; makes up songs.
Music Activity – Marching band with rhythm instruments; high/low up/down; play/stop; fast/slow; loud/soft; nonsense songs; read books based on familiar songs.

Age – 4 – 5 Years
Music Milestone – Larger purposeful movements; imaginative songs and stories; beginning to recognize familiar melodies without lyrics; match beat to others.
Music Activity – Rhythm stick games; movement songs using scarves, ribbons, etc.; story songs; group music experiences; xylophones, tone bars

Age – 5 – 6 Years
Music Milestone – Maintains steady beat while moving to music; sings melody with pitch accuracy; plays melodies on simple instruments; can remember songs in head; begins to read and write rhythmic notation.
Music Activity – Sings rounds like” Row your boat”; practice singing; provide diverse genres and styles of music recordings/songs/games.

Age – 6 – 7 Years
Music Milestone – Develops tonal center; starts to sing harmony and rounds; vocal range focused around 5-6 notes; expands rhythmic and melodic written notation.
Music Activity – Builds a repertoire of familiar songs. Provides opportunities for music improvisation, reading and writing notation. Music lessons.

Age – 7 – 9 Years
Music Milestone – Vocal range expands; uses more complex meters and harmonies; demonstrates music preferences.
Music Activity – Offer individual and group music experiences; provide music games (computer, board) that focus on music terminology, notation and discrimination.

 

Developed for FIRST YEARS – http://firstyears.org


The Importance of Music for Babies and Children

Music can be a powerful expression of feelings and emotions:

  • Communicating in a way which words cannot, something important that the child has to say. A visual presentation of a child’s thoughts and feelings.
  • Music is fun and the child is entertained, e.g. musical statues, musical chairs. Keeping a child happy on a long journey with their favourite C.D.
  • Motivates – dancing is probably the biggest complement to music. Whenever a child hears his favourite songs he often likes to dance, tap his feet or nod his head to the beat of the song.
  • Tells a story – Musicals i.e. Disney’s Fantasia or Swan Lake as a Ballet
  • Illustrates drama, i.e. an upbeat song lifts the mood, somber music makes one sad.
  • Heals.  Music is calming; it affects the heart, arteries and lungs. It has the power to heal. When a child falls, we cradle him and sing a soothing song. Playing music for kids during painful medical procedures is a simple intervention that can make a big difference.
  • Educates children to a variety of sound choices, including the voice and home-made and manufactured instruments.
  • Expresses one’s identity and preserves cultural traditions. Music develops awareness and appreciation of the child’s environment and ethos. Irish music is one of our strongest living traditions. Listening to all genre of music increases a child’s knowledge and understanding of other cultures and traditions.

Music is part of a fabric of our society. Every human culture uses music to carry forward its ideas and ideals. The importance of music to our economy is without doubt. And the value of shaping individual abilities and character are attested in a number of places.

Music is a magical gift we must nourish and cultivate in our children, especially now as scientific evidence proves that an education in music makes better math and science students, enhances spatial intelligence in newborns.

Music creates jobs, boosts tourism, spurs growth in related businesses (hotels, restaurants) and improves the overall quality of life for our cities and towns.

Children who are born into musical families are in a considerable advantage position, the right conditions are already in place. But I have looked after and taught many children who have become excellent musicians because of dedication, willing to put in hours of practice and a professional teacher who offers support and guidance.

Learning to play a musical instrument, or to sing, has long been considered one of the most fulfilling and profound talents a young person can develop. Music bonds us together through shared experiences, and brings us closer to one another.

Playing an instrument, be it musical or voice should be part of every child’s curriculum in school today, Children of three years or younger are unlikely to play musical instruments, but there may be specialist classes in your area where they can enjoy musical activities that will begin to develop their sense of pulse through movement, and where they can sing and dance.

Numerous Children begin learning instruments between the ages of three and six years, I was five when I began to learn the piano and my brother took up the violin also when he was five years of age. To teach a child of this age the teacher needs to be a specialist understanding the child’s particular requirements. Lessons should only last 20 minutes for this age group as concentration is limited. Lessons should be fun stimulating the mind of the child using varying activities. Simple language used with clear explanations. Patience and encouragement on the Teacher’s part is a must.

Instrumental training begins ideally between the ages of six and nine when a child has efficient memory and eager to learn but still a short attention span. Lessons have to be carefully planned, setting challenging tasks as a child is hungry to learn. Introducing music exams at Grade level helps a child to achieve standards and increase musical ability.

Piano is a common starter instrument because it is easy to really see the music. Common in many cultures and styles of music, piano or keyboard is an excellent choice for beginners.

One of the most viable careers in music performance revolves around playing classical Strings, in orchestral, string-quartet, and even folk music.

Guitar opens all kinds of doors into new music and styles. It’s had an impact on pop culture more than probably any other instrument, and is a super-popular choice for first-timers everywhere.

BrassWoodwind, and Percussion instruments are also excellent choices.

© Nanny Options


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