Music for Kids

I’ll never forget sitting in my local library with my five-month-old baby in my lap at our first Baby Bounce. The woman hosting the baby music class handed out rattles and bells. My child immediately hit herself in the head with her rattle then dropped it to the ground. The music began playing and a heap of mainly middle-aged women looked at each other blankly. I, for one, had no idea what the words to most of the songs were. We all mumbled along, out of tune to the songs, while our babies lay there motionless.

I am not sure if my baby got much out of the early days, but three kids down and numerous Baby Bounces and Rhyme Times (this is for toddlers) later and my girls were singing and dancing along. The interaction with other children and the ability to be stimulated by music was really valuable. It was also great preparation for their first steps into organized schooling.

According to the early development music and movement school for kids Kindermusik, children who are regularly exposed to music benefit in many ways:

Early Literacy – They gain the phonological processing, spoken language and comprehension skills that are the basis of learning.

Quantative – They build the spatial-temporal and reasoning skills required for math, science and engineering.

Social-Emotional – They develop social and emotional skills that are essential for school readiness.

Physical – By moving and dancing to music and playing simple instruments, children improve their gross and fine motor skills.

Creative – Activities that encourage freedom, within a fun and friendly structure, spark children’s creativity. And they develop a love of music.

I didn’t take my kids to Kindermusik classes, but I know many who did and their children loved it. I am, however, a big believer in surrounding my kids with music – all different kinds. We are not a household where nursery rhymes play 24/7. There’s definitely a place for kids’ songs, but we also play a lot of hip-hop, pop, alternative and dance music. Sometimes, there’s even a bit of 80s glam rock, classical and jazz, just to mix it up. By exposing our kids to all sorts of genres, I believe, it will not only provide them with a rounded repertoire, it will also enable them to develop their own taste in music. It also teaches them different beats, they dance in creative ways and they learn that their parents also have tastes, distinct from theirs.

Music is a celebration of the soul and I see it, as parents, our gift to pass onto our kids an appreciation of all it can offer.