5 Ways Music Classes Can Enhance Your Baby’s Development

5 Ways Music Classes Can Enhance Your Baby’s Development

There’s no denying that pots, pans and wooden spoons are children’s go-to instruments. While the loud clinking and clanking may drive parents a little stir crazy, the process of making their own music is doing far more than putting a smile on their faces.

Music can be both stimulating and soothing for children, and you can help your child develop their inner music-maker just by creating music—yes, this means the clanging of your kitchen cookware, as well as the endless singing of those songs you can’t seem to get out of your head, is helping your baby. By sharing these moments together, parents are also enhancing bonding time and learning musical ways to help with transitions.

That’s what led Music Together, an early childhood music and movement program for babies and kids through age eight, to kickstart its classes in 1987. Through its 45-minute weekly classes, which are offered in thousands of communities around the world, Music Together is empowering households to make every day a musical adventure. It also turns out, creating tunes with your little one can further build unique connections in their brain, which support their language, social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.

So, if you’re considering signing up for a parent-and-me music class, we’ve listed the top five benefits creating music as a family can have on your baby.

1. Helps Form Parent-Baby Bonding

Carving out time free of distractions can be tough for parents. With work, household chores, daily errands and caretaking, it can sometimes feel like there are not enough hours in the day for play. With a dedicated music class each week, you can guarantee you’ll be focused on your kiddo, which, in turn, helps strengthen your overall emotional connection and bond.

Did we mention both baby and parents alike will also feel better by the end of class? Music is known to relieve stress and release “happy hormones” (dopamine and oxytocin). It’s a win-win for all!

2. Enhances How Infants Express Themselves

A 2012 study conducted by McMaster University found that infants who participated in interactive music classes alongside their parents smiled more often, had better communication and presented a more sophisticated brain response to music. Whether you incorporate singing and dancing as part of your daily household routine, or join a Music Together class at least once a week, you can aid your baby into doing the same.

Music also helps tots share how they’re feeling. “You might see your baby smile, giggle, or coo, in intensity when the music stops," explains Susan Darrow, CEO of Music Together. “This is a signal they may want you to sing some more.”

3. Boosts Motor Abilities

Darrow further adds the benefits of music on a baby’s motor skills. “When you hold your baby and walk, march, skip, or sway to the beat of a song or sing to them, you are teaching them about rhythm,” says Darrow. “They are building a ‘body memory’ of moving to the beat that they will be able to call upon once they are able to move to music on their own. And babies are capable of showing you that they really do feel and hear the music.”

So, when your baby picks up an egg shaker or mini-maraca to play along with music, they’re helping improve their body awareness and hand-eye coordination. Plus: upbeat sounds will have them moving, jumping and bouncing—which are all important for their motor-skill development.

4. Builds Language and Literacy 

Through the words in a song, babies are exposed to new vocabulary that they can return and use to start practicing how to speak. Music also allows infants to begin experimenting with their voices with sounds, such as giggling and babbling.

Music Together has found that babies’ cooing sounds begin to match pitches in the music they’re hearing even before they’ve reached six months, particularly at the ends of songs. “In Music Together classes, we have heard infants as early as three weeks old shift their cooing to the same pitches as the songs we sing in class,” says Darrow.

5. Accelerates Cognitive Development

Babies are often compared to sponges: able to absorb whatever they’re immersed in. With music, little ones are exposed to new sounds and rhythmic patterns that they store to use at a later time. This helps not only increase their concentration levels and listening skills, but also builds their memory recall.

Research has also shown that singing, bouncing, dancing and playing music activates at least eight areas of an infant’s brain at the same time. Since music-making activities activate so much of the brain during this time of incredible plasticity, music experiences uniquely support growth across multiple domains.

Jumpstart your baby’s musical journey today with Music Together, which offers weekly 45-minute classes for both parents and children across the globe. To find a location near you, visit musictogether.com.

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