“Hi Mum! Its great to see you. Are you blowing bubbles at me? I love it when you do that. I am trying to copy you but I don’t think its working just yet. Oh well, I’ll keep trying and soon I’ll be blowing bubbles back to you.”
You already know the widely published benefits your baby gains from learning music. But you may not know how or when you can start on their music teaching journey. The answer is…you can start at any time, and the sooner the better.
Baby George has the right idea. He can see, hear, feel, smile, wriggle and do whatever he can to show Heidi that he is listening. He is taking in all she is saying. Every time Heidi spends time with George he is a little closer to responding in ways that Heidi will recognise. But when George was a new born baby how could Heidi be sure that her efforts were worthwhile? Heidi knew because professionals in the field of baby’s hearing have confirmed that babies are listening to us. In fact they know their mother’s voice before they are born:
“Because they learn it in the womb, newborns are born with the ability to distinguish their mother’s voice and respond to it above all others.” Dan Brennan MD
Right from birth Heidi has given George opportunities to learn how to listen. Through laughing, singing, whistling, whispering, chatting and more she engages George to focus his eyes on her face. Her eyes and mouth move in exagerated ways and she speaks in a higher pitch than usual (that’s very musical!) as she communicates with him.
So we can see that even new born babies are listening and learning about musical ideas. Using your high pitched voice is a perfect example of teaching your baby about melody. Baby’s learn by copying.
Here is a simple musical game you can play with your baby of any age. The game encourages baby’s curiosity.
Hold a shaker near to the left side of her ear and and shake gently. Watch baby as she moves her head toward the sound. Next, make a different sound near her right ear. You could choose some scrunched up paper, or tap two spoons together, any sound will do. Baby will turn her head to the right side. Repeat this activity a few times. You can observe how baby wants to engage with the sound and look for it, on either side of her head. She wants to involve more senses than just hearing. She really wants to see the object.
This simple listening game awakes baby’s curiosity, engages both sides of her brain and is a very real early lesson in learning how to play music. You can do a simple games like this with your new born at home.