People ask me, “How can you teach music to babies?” As part of the full Kindermusik curricullum, the Village program is designed for babies from infancy up to 18 months old. Why start so young?
Posted on March 23, 2009 by Debbie Mondale
That’s easy to answer. Every experience they have now helps to build a foundation for learning. Music excites the brain, getting it ready to learn. When music is paired with a positive learning experience, it builds stronger connections, and a inner desire to learn more. The musical experiences a baby has now provides a framework, not only for their further music learning, but also for the development of the whole child.
Many parents already do so many things at home that aid in their child’s development, and offer their children the rich heritage of songs that they grew up with. This is SOOO important in the life of a child, and every time a mother or father sings to their child, or chants nursery rhymes, or dances around the room to music, they are creating wonderful learning experiences for their child. KEEP doing that even if you never step into a Kindermusik classroom.
My mom loved to sing and shared a lot of children’s songs and song from our Polish culture with me as I grew up. I LOVED sharing these with my baby when he was so young. But I did get tired of singing the same songs and lullabies. I needed something MORE to offer MY brain, as well as for my son.
I got together with other families and we learned each other’s songs. That was fun, and I learned several new activities. I also went to the library and checked out MORE music, but it did not always turn out to be appropriate for my baby.
THEN I found Kindermusik.
Kindermusik is like a LIBRARY full of great music and books, specifically designed for each age group, and the Kindermusik educator is like a great friend who just loves to share these materials along with ideas and information with parents and families. And I do, I really do.
The Village curriculum was actually developed by a creative team of professional who are both educators AND parents themselves, who did the research on what is BEST for babies, and ties it together with folk music from around the world, offering NEW songs and activities in each of the 10 semesters that are offered for this age. That is WAY better than I can do as one person, even WITH a BS degree in Music Therapy.
There are so many CRITICAL developmental issues at this young age. Through Kindermusik, babies are exposed to the musical sounds and experiences that are important to their musical development. Because of the variety of music and HIGH quality of the arrangements and recordings, they experience a wide variety of sounds, timbres and rhythms they might not normally hear. They get to explore musical instruments on their own terms and develop pathways for steady beat, timbre discrimination, and expressiveness.
Besides music education, we also USE music to focus on each area of development, creating an environment which stimulates the growth of the whole child.
Musical phrases are much like sentences. Rhyming words of nursery rhymes and finger plays are excellent for building foundations for speech and language.
Through movement and dance activities, babies develop their vestibular and proprioceptive systems and establish neural foundations for concepts such as high and low. And mom’s learn how to encourage movements that help the different sides of the brain communicate more effectively.
Parents comments are especially focused on how impressed they are at how the music opens up their child’s personality and lets it shine through, even as a baby.
With or without Kindermusik, MUSIC provides an excellent beginning for babies, and as we know:
A good beginning never ends
Kindermusik just makes it EASIER, and provides a fully fertile playground.