No matter how old they are, music is an integral part of children's lives. The more they are exposed to it, the better their overall development.
Julia, 2 years old, is she too young to start learning music? Can 5 month old Noah find interest in listening to songs?
From before birth and during his first years, babies have fun feeling, discovering and making sounds. The exploration of noises, sounds and music represents the foundations of future communication with parents and people around them. At two years old, it is generally too early to “learn” music (music theory, rhythmic figures, etc.). However, it is desirable to use every opportunity to create a special moment with your child and thus promote good communication and a bond of parent/child attachment.
The benefits of music for children
The benefits of integrating music into a child's daily life are numerous. Awakening to sounds and music contributes to relaxation, listening, motor coordination, intellectual skills and the development of verbal, social and emotional language. What more! A child who has been in contact with music,and therefore stimulated by it during his early childhood, will have an easier time adapting to his environment when he enters school, since his listening, his concentration and his curiosity will have been solicited.
You don't have to be a musician, play Beethoven sonatas or sing overly complex tunes to our child to include music in our relationship with him. For the baby, the simple fact of hearing mum's voice humming a lullaby or dad's gently whispering simple phrases and words of love soothes and reassures him. More than recorded music or elaborate instruments, the human voice is the element for which the young child shows the greatest interest.
The importance of the voice: songs and rhymes
Basic child care takes up most of a day's schedule, so it's easy to use these times to introduce nursery rhymes and musical games into their routine. In addition to entertaining and comforting him, musical moments also serve as time markers. Here are some examples of everyday situations that are conducive to singing to your child:
- When getting up and going to bed;
- When washing hands;
- When changing diapers;
- When the drink is given in the arms;
- When you blow your nose;
- When preparing for a meal;
- When rocking the child, etc.
Let your child guide you. YouYou will quickly understand if the duration of the musical activity is too long or too short since it is based on the interest shown by your child. Choose nursery rhymes that stimulate the child's imagination and curiosity while introducing him to new vocabulary words. These songs should also lead him to think, work on his memory, use gestures and understand new concepts.
The relevance of sound objects at a young age
Although sound objects and musical instruments are not essential, especially during the first years of the baby's life, they still contribute in a great way to improving the perceptions and auditory and expressive skills of the baby. 'child. Whether with his body, with household objects, everyday sounds, commercial musical toys or even with small musical instruments, the child participates largely, himself, in his musical awakening.
From birth, the child uses his body as a musical instrument, he emits sounds. Around 18 months, he will have learned to clap his hands and will be interested in rhythm. He will also be able to imitate the sounds of animals, cars and familiar objects. Then comes a period when everything is an excuse for play and exploration. If the child feels safe, he will enjoy discovering the objects in his environment with which he can produce sounds. A small saucepan, a sheet of paper, a plastic bottle, a wooden spoon, a bunch of keys… The little one will use thesedifferent ways in order to discover the sounds he can make out of them. These are his first independent musical explorations. By putting various objects at the child's disposal (choose those that require the child's direct participation), you will allow him to establish a cause and effect relationship (I do such a gesture: I hear such a sound) and to refine, among other things, his motor skills.
The adult present and aware of his environment can easily make the child notice the sounds of everyday life: the whistling kettle, a slipping zipper, the air conditioner turning on; outside, the bird singing or the engine noise of the vehicle passing in the street. Naturally curious, the child pays attention to his environment and develops his sense of listening, an essential aspect that will be very useful to him in his learning and when he enters school.
Children may also have a great interest in commercial toys, but these should not represent all of the sound stimulation objects offered to the baby. Among these toys, look for those that produce sounds mechanically (by squeezing, shaking or sliding, for example). To establish your choice, balance is still the best thing: a few everyday objects, a few commercial sound toys and a few musical instruments represent a beautiful whole. Also aim for quality and diversity rather than abundance.
Traditional musical instruments can be anice complement to everything we have mentioned so far. Far from being essential, these instruments allow the child to hear more musical and unusual sounds. The preferred musical instruments are small percussion instruments, large enough to be handled by children (bells, maracas, drums, sandblasted blocks), instruments that are safe (avoid too small objects) and easy to handle.
Have fun and enjoy singing and making music with your kids!