When parents look their babies in the eyes, the great majority of them do not imagine the countless latent abilities in their children’s life. Babies’ brains grow at an astonishing pace, extremely fast, and they absorb information much easier than adults. For a long time, music has been known as an essential activity for the development of the brain, and many studies have repeatedly confirmed its long-term benefits. It is never too early to teach music to your child! By following the steps described in this article, you will set your baby on a musical path which not only will bring him happiness and satisfaction, but will also make him more intelligent. You can offer your child an education in the music field, and next we will present you some advice on how to do it.
- Select a wide variety of music CDs, either from your personal collection, or from the local library. Let your child listen to various music genres, such as classical music, country, disco, rock etc, right from his first days of life. Dance with your child while listening to music. This way, you will help him enrich his censorial information and the depth of his learning. Clap, or pat his arms and legs on the beat or rhythm of the music. Use the music as an opportunity for the baby to have a positive interaction with you. This will teach the child different types of music.
- Show your baby different CDs or DVDs about learning music. On television you can watch short musical programs that teach babies, little and older children to read music and to train their ear for music in order to achieve what is called a perfect ear, or perfect pitch. These shows also explain the notion of rhythm and teach how to recognize musical instruments in a piece of music. So start practicing with your child, trying to identify the musical instruments in a melody you listen together. Move and dance with your child on the rhythm of that CD or DVD and sing the notes with him.
- Make an inexpensive set of flashcards showing keys. Start with the notes in the G-clef. Show your baby several of them daily, and change the order every few days. You will see that before long your baby will be able to identify them correctly, like you have shown him. Resist the temptation of testing your child, as this might make him reject the activity and be reluctant to repeat it. Depending on the age of your child, it might be necessary to print the flashcards in bigger size. During this period, your baby may find it much easier to acquire all these abilities, a task that could be very daunting after a few years. When you perform this activity with your child make sure it is entertaining and worthwhile for both of you (or the three of you, if Mommy, Daddy and Baby are working together).
- Give your baby the chance to create his own music. Pots and pans can be funny music instruments. Encourage your baby to imitate you and guide him to follow various and complex rhythms. As the child is improving his skills, you can have him to keep the rhythm while you play another rhythm.
- A keyboard or, even better, a piano (but not a toy piano, which is usually out of tune and pitch) is perfect for your baby to exercise on. If you cannot get one of these instruments, then a xylophone or marimba might be helpful. Having access to an instrument gives little children and preschoolers the opportunity to practice and overcome problems and learn to recognize both the sound and the music.
- Take your baby to free pop and classical music concerts, either outside, or in the local library. By letting him attend these concerts even for a few minutes, you will help stimulate your baby’s curiosity and love for music. Tell the child where you are, what you see and what you hear. Draw his attention to the different types of instruments that are used most during the concert or presentation.
- Consider taking music classes with your baby or buying CDs/DVDs that teach music, and enjoy them together with your child.
- Sing nursery songs to your baby, as these tend to be babies’ favorites and can also provide information that your baby needs to know for his growth and development.