Babies love music. Just as the right music can lift our
sagging adult spirits or calm our souls, so too does it have either
a relaxing or invigorating effect on baby. Research also shows that
music has a positive effect on baby's brain development.
A recent study suggests that children who receive music
education even have an advantage when it comes to learning to read.
Overall, musical training appears to enhance children's cognitive
So make it a point to introduce your baby to the wonderful
world of music: It's a fun way for both of you to pep up a dreary
day or tranquilize a stressful situation.
Here are eight easy tips for sharing the joy of music with
Start by playing music during your baby's awake "playtime." Any
peppy tunes will do: Dig out your '80s faves or stream some ABBA or
Beatles hits into your speaker system. Sing along as you move your
baby's arms and feet to the rhythm. Clap your hands or dance to the
beat yourself. Your baby-and you-are sure to be entertained.
Remember that even if you're completely off-tune, your baby
appreciates your singing voice above all others. Sing simple songs
complemented with motions. Pat-a-cake, Where is Thumbkin?, Old
McDonald, I'm a Little Teapot and the Itsy Bitsy Spider are always
Expose your baby to new languages and cultures by playing world
music hits. The Putumayo collection, www.putu
Got a cranky baby on your hands? Stream some soothing tunes and
cuddle her close with a soft blanket.
Spice up your typical bedtime routine by playing some classical
hits-Bach, Beethoven or Mozart or simple soothing lullabies.
Visit kindermusik.com to find a local Kindermusik
school and enroll baby in her first music class. Each session
strives to connect parents and babies through music. "The early
months of a child's life are an important time to form an emotional
bond with their parent, and we foster that in class," says Jessica
Rice Solares, co-owner of Bucktown Music in Chicago, which offers
a range of parent-baby music classes.
"I've also found that my older music students who have completed
the Kindermusik program have shown an increased ability for
abstract musical concepts, have better rhythm and intonation, and
better listening and attention skills in their lessons."
Time in the car as you drive your baby to and from day care or
errands is a great time to turn on the radio for some relaxing
music. Sing along and release your inner road rage.
As your baby's development progresses, offer some fun musical
instruments for playtime. Visit musicaltoysplus.com for a funky selection of
baby-sized instruments, including mini drums, shakers, guiros and
even baby pianos, or visit the Lincoln Park or Lincoln Square
locations of the Old Town School of Folk Music, where you can find
everything from jingle bells to maracas.
Amy Bizzarri is a mom of two living in Logan Square. She also blogs at tiramisumom.com.
See more of Amy's stories here.
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