Music therapy: The Benefits in Early Childhood
Babies love it when you sing to them. Surprisingly, they even think you sing better than Beyoncé, Whitney, Elton or Elvis. Singing can contribute to children’s development. There is growing evidence that babies whose parents sing, read or play music with them are more likely to reach development milestones more rapidly. Regular musical playtime has also been seen to improve the development of premature babies or babies born in conditions that cause developmental delays. As a result of the positive reaction of children to music, we have gathered some music therapy tips:
Show strong facial expressions when singing to your child. This can help the emotional and social development of your baby. Songs like “If you’re happy and you know it,” is a good one when your child is facing you.
Choose gestural songs around the age of 6 months (for example, “Itsy Bitsy Spider”). Help your child make gestures and your child begins to associate gestures with words while developing motor skills. Choose songs like “Wheels on the Bus” that continue to pair gestures and words between 12 and 18 months. For ages 18-24 months, “Hokey Pokey” is the ideal song as it teaches body parts and coordination.
Become a recording star
Even if the tone is flawed, the parents’ familiar voice is really powerful. The sounds are relaxing and suitable for little ears. The lullabies, with their natural phrasing and their long vowels, underline the first elements constituting communication. Note how you sing or read to establish a bedtime routine. It is best to always do it live, but it sometimes helps when you can not be there!
Play music or sing for the baby for 20 to 30 minutes for a total of 3 to 4 hours a day. Anything outside that might be too stimulating for some babies. Babies enjoy and tolerate as much active music as possible when they are at home. When playing back recordings, it is always advisable to limit their use so that the music is always for specific purposes (for example, for soothing, bedtime or playtime).
Keep it in mind to take your baby to music lessons. In community-based outpatient classes, learning accelerates as babies try to copy each other. Plus, you’ll discover new and fun ways to help your baby grow.
Stop the transition tantrum
One of the most difficult skills for children is going from one activity to another. Even if the job is familiar, the change can be stressful. Create a routine song that tells kids it’s time to change something. In our class, we have a song to clean. It will also help if you could use songs for daily activities, such as brushing your teeth, putting on pajamas or getting in the car. By starting the routine as a baby, it becomes easy for toddlers to transition as early at age 2.
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