The Magical benefits of Music Play
When my first born was 6 months old I took her to her first music and movement class.
Initially, I signed up so I had an excuse to get out of the house and catch up with a girlfriend and her baby once a week but as we continued, I watched her grow and it turned into something so much more. I honestly think it’s part of the reason my now Grade 1 kid is reading at a Grade 3 level. Music boosted her language and cognitive skills.
Research shows that providing your little one with musical experiences can significantly boost their brainpower. Besides cultivating an early appreciation of music, musical play also provides rich cognitive and developmental benefits. For example, playing music to your baby can activate the neural pathways responsible for many skills, including memory, maths and emotional intelligence.
Pretty Cool ha?
Further, studies have shown that exposing your baby to music can speed up the process of them learning to speak and master complex language concepts faster.
This is all well and good I hear you say…
But… What if I can't find a music class near me?
If I'm honest, we only went to music class for 6 months. Then I took what I learnt there and incorporated it into my weekly play routine.
So every Thursday morning between 9 - 9:30, I would set up a little “music studio” at home, always with a different theme to mix up the sensory experience. (It also helped with the monotony of being at home with a baby- but don't tell her that! )
Here is what we did
Let's say the theme was the 80’s
9:00 - 9:05: Played my favouite 80’s hit and held her on my hip and just danced to the music.
9:05 - 9:10: Sat on the floor opposite each other while I snag her 3- 4 nursery rhymes. Then repeated them doing the actions.
9:10 - 9:15: We lay on the floor together and played an 80’s hit or 2 that was just instrumental music. Sometimes she would crawl all over me, other times she would be still and listen. It didn't matter.
9:15- 9:20: Showed her the basket of homemade instruments (yogurt container rice shaker, plastic bowl drum, tin with rubber band guitar, wooden spoon, I also had a store bought barbell and maraca) and let her choose what she wanted and allowed 5 minutes for her to explore freely.
9:20- 9:25: Read a picture book aloud and used the instruments to make sound effects to enhance the story.
9:25- 9:30: Played another 80’s hit and danced, listened or played along to the music.
And that was it.
Simple as that.
I really hope you do try this at home. I promise it will make a difference to you and you bub.