Benefits of Kindermusik for Babies!
There are so many benefits of Kindermusik for babies. Studies show 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’s not all. Here are four more benefits of music for babies.
1. Music supports the early stages of language development.
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 a pterodactyl are all part of it.
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. Parents call it the “will-I-ever-sleep-again” pattern. (Spoiler alert: You will…one day!) 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 (really)!
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 you hold a newborn who reflexively grasps your finger. Seemingly, the next minute your little baby intentionally reaches up to touch your 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 for more complex movements like eventually kicking a ball, jumping, and even writing.
4. Music helps babies gain active listening skills.
Do you ever just stop and really listen to your surroundings? It’s kind of noisy. You 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, you know how to tune in to 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!
At Kindermusik, we know babies need to learn how to tune in to the sounds and language most needed in their daily lives. In fact, a baby can already distinguish the sound of a parent’s voice from everyone else’s voice. In class each week, we enhance a baby’s growing discriminatory listening skills when we listen to and imitate different animal noises, the various sounds of instruments, and the voices of adults singing and humming. This ability to detect and attend to sounds, and to distinguish between them, sets a baby on the path to fine-tuned listening and receptive language.