Thursday, April 7, 2011

Resource Thursday - Music and Your Infant

Before we go any further, I need to tell you that your author is a musician and has been since she began playing piano at the age of five.  She is adamant about the importance of music in your child's life.  "But I can't sing/play an instrument/I don't LIKE classical music" you say.  No excuses.  You do not have to be a musician to help your child appreciate music and yes, good music has been written since Bach and Beethoven roamed the earth.

Did you know that what you learn by singing stays with you longer?  Hint:  The ABC's song.  Admit it - when you have to alphabetize, you sing that song to yourself! And those of you who had to memorize all the books of the Old and New Testament - tell me you don't hum that ditty when you are trying to find Hezekiah (hint - it's in the Old Testament). 

Besides - music is fun!  And music should begin immediately with your infant.  Did you know that spoken word is music?  It has rhythm.  The pitch in your voice changes. lays out these benefits for your child of a life full of music:
  • Lullabies can help soothe a fussy child
  • Music may help strengthen preemies
  • It helps you bond with your child over a shared experience 
"But I don't know what to do!" you say. Try a few of these:
  • Gently clap your baby's hands together as your recite a nursery rhyme like "Jack Be Nimble".
  • Sing as you rock your baby to sleep while gently patting their back in time to the music.
  • Play kid's songs in the car - ok, you may get a little tired of the repetition, but your child won't.  Sing along.  It doesn't have to be "good" - be enthusiastic.  Once your baby sees your enjoyment, he/she will enjoy the experience. 
  • Once your child can sit up, help them "beat" on a box in rhythm to a song or nursery rhyme.
  • Sing a song to go along with normal every day activities.  Remember these classics:  The Wheels on the Bus, This Is The Way We Wash Our Hands and This Little Piggy
What are some good resources for children's music.  We always loved Raffi!        

What are your favorite musical activities with your baby?   Tune in next week when Resource Thursday will discuss Music and Your Toddler.

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If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.

If you are a woman facing an unwanted pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.

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