Why is Music Important for a Child’s Development?
It has been proven that introducing music to your baby before birth has a positive developmental effect on the brain.
According to Dr. Ibrahim Baltagi in an article for Unicef, music can soothe the baby whilst still in the womb. In the last few weeks of the pregnancy choosing soothing classical music, lullabies or gentle melodies will not only relax the mum to be but also the little one. At around 18 weeks of pregnancy a baby will hear their first sound and by 24 weeks they are known to respond to voices and tunes and will actively turn to face that sound. It goes without saying then that this kind of stimuli can only be beneficial, especially if the baby has been listening to a regular playlist through pregnancy, birth and into infanthood then this familiarity will prove to be a comfort.
Recognised tunes are perfect for soothing your little one, whether this is a track on your playlist or a lullaby sung by mum and dad. My little Grandson completely relaxes when mum sings tunes that were featured on her pregnancy and birthing playlist and also with nursery rhymes. Hannah is a voice coach which helps, but you don’t have to be a nightingale! Baby Ivo will also will stop crying when dad sings Dirty Old Town by the Pogues! The familiarity of the tune and voice is like therapy for Ivo and the two quickly sooth and calm him.
As your little one grows, music will stimulate many areas of the brain, including creativity, rhythm and language. Introduce a musical instruments and you help develop hand/eye co-ordination and develop social skills. According to Dr Baltagi the best musical instruments you can buy for your children would include a toy drum, shakers or rattles, glockenspiel, xylophones, maracas and we feature some of these in our “Making Music” gift box designed especially for little people.
For social development music is the best. In adulthood we will gravitate to the dancefloor when we hear a good tune to share in a collective “feel good” few minutes and children get the same emotional boost from a recognised tune. We have all seen really small toddlers, clad in a big nappy shaking their booty to a pop tune, nursery rhyme or even classical piece. As humans we just can’t help going with the flow when it comes to music and movement. Clapping along, singing and following a set of moves (think, Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes) are developmental surges that come from having fun and develop memory skills. Little Jess (my Granddaughter) loves to dance and will ask Alexa (in her own language) for a tune and will have us all up on the “dancefloor”! Great exercise for us and fabulous fun for her but more importantly she is developing her vocabulary, movement and in the case of Heads, Shoulders.....she is also learning parts of the body through word association.
Music features in every culture across the world, with songs and instruments that differ widely across the globe but which all have the same outcome, to bring people together, to stimulate emotion and to encourage community.
Music is a gift and in our opinion the earlier a baby is introduced to it the better off they will be!
Check out the “Making Music”, with instruments suitable from birth to 3 years* this gift will be a real crowd pleaser!
*Some of the instruments included will need a bigger person to help.