Encouraging music skills in babies, toddlers & pre-schoolers

Tots About spoke to Thalia from Music For Little One’s about why music is important from an early age.

Having worked with babies and young children for many years now I love seeing the difference singing and making music with them makes – a baby’s face lighting up as they recognise a particular song  or ‘banging’ on an instrument  to accompany some music with complete abandon cannot help but make you smile. They quickly understand and respond  to the play and pattern of simple songs- it really is second nature to them – but then when you think that one of baby’s first experiences in the womb is hearing and feeling comforted by the steady rhythm of your heart it makes sense.

Some of the many benefits include the development of: 1) speech and language 2)  social skills inc. taking turns, joining in, listening 3) problem solving 4) memory skills 5) creativity 6) self esteem 7) learning to express themselves 8) improvement of self confidence.

Many nursery rhymes feature simple intervals and pitches that echo the first sounds a child makes (think nuh-nuh nu-nuh-nuh when a child puts their thumb to their nose) ; then sing ‘it’s raining it’s pouring’ and you’ll get the idea. These nursery rhymes really do help children to ‘find their voices’ so whenever you’re sat there singing for the millionth  time ‘ the wheels on the bus!’  to a chorus of ‘again/ gain, gain!’ just think how you are really helping them to be confident with their voices. Think of all the processes that they are actually going through to ‘learn a song’  and it’s actually pretty amazing.  As a musician and as a mother (with a pretty dodgy memory now) I’m constantly astounded and in awe of their natural ability.


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