Being aware of the sounds around you

Being aware of the sounds around you

Do you ever turn on the TV for background noise in the evening, and sometimes not even realize or pay attention to what show is on? As adults, we are not always aware of the sounds around us. When our child is within earshot, it is important to be aware of the sounds that are present in our environment. We are used to noise all around and we know how to tune it out when needed. However children (especially infants) have not learned this skill yet and so the sounds within their environment can sometimes cause overstimulation and possibly a melt-down. Since an infant can’t politely say “turn that down”, most often they demonstrate their dislikes in screams and tears, adding to the noise, and often leading to overstimulation for you as well! What is the solution? Intentional listening – this simply means to be aware of the environment that you and your child are in and use the background sounds to set the tone for the mood or behaviors that you desire. When choosing music to have on in the background, choose music that has a consistent beat and pleasant melodies. Consistent beat A consistent, rhythmic beat provides predictability for children, which in turn provides security and comfort. A consistent beat can be identified by clapping your hands (or clapping with your baby’s hands) in a consistent rhythm with the music. The opposite, arrhythmic beats, would stray away from your consistent clapping. The arrhythmic beats can sometimes be jarring and unpredictable, often creating unease for your child. Pleasant Melody This concept is a little more subjective. Songs that...
Music to support learning

Music to support learning

From the day your baby is born, you watch them grow and change on a daily basis. It is amazing to see the physical, emotional and developmental changes! There are important milestones to watch for as your baby progresses and you can use music to support learning. Here are some ideas for how you can do this at every stage of your child’s development: 1 month​ ​-​-​ ​Y​our baby’s hearing is fully developed, even before his sight. During tummy time, shake an instrument such as a shaker or rattle to one side of your baby’s head. Watch as he picks up his head and turns to look towards the sound source. Not only does this exercise his muscles, it also exercises his ability to look towards and track the sound source. 3 months​ ​-​- ​Your baby will start to babble and mimic sounds. Help to shape those sounds by emphasizing your mouth and affect while singing simple sounds such as “ohhhh”, “ahhhh” and even “lalala”. Praise your baby as he attempts to mimic your sounds and affect. This also offers opportunities for vocal play between you and your baby. Have fun with it and be silly with your sounds! 4-​6​ months​ ​-​- ​By this point​,​ it is important to establish a routine for your baby. Make music part of your routine in order to create predictability. For instance, sing “row your boat” as bath time approaches or turn on a soothing lullaby CD as you are preparing your baby for bedtime. Use the same music on a daily basis and this will create predictability for your baby, cuing him that it...
Why music is important for your child

Why music is important for your child

Throughout our lives, most people love some type of music. It doesn’t matter our background, skills or preferences – there is music that makes everyone happy and it starts at a young age.  Do you know why music is important for your child? Music is one of the few activities that engages both sides of the brain. At a young age, it helps form neural pathways that are beneficial for motor skill development, emotional intelligence and creativity. Here are some simple ways that music can be beneficial to your child…and you! Music ​develops skills​ ​-​ ​Music is multi-modal​, which means it​ addresses ​multiple ​areas of development such as speech and language, fine and gross motor skills, social development, spatial awareness, academic skills, as well as sensory needs. The effects are endless! ​Your child ​will ​think​ they are having fun with music, ​​and at the same time are learning and developing ​their​​ brains on so many different levels​.  How do you do this? Sing a familiar song such as “baa baa black sheep” while clapping hands with your child. Emphasize the shape of your mouth as you sing “baa baa” so that your child can see and imitate the sounds that you are creating. Music is structured​ ​-​ ​In early stages of life, infants and toddlers are developing a sense of trust. They have complete dependency on the caregiver and when their needs are met​,​ that creates security. Music is structured sound. It has a predictability that meets the instinctual needs of an infant, therefore provides a sense of comfort. ​Combining emotional comfort with soothing and structured sounds ​can make...
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