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Article: Music and Movement with your baby

Here's a great article about the value of music classes for babies as experienced first-hand by this new mum. Music, Movement with your baby by rachelcook (Article taken from Parenting Advice website - Minti) Music and movement utilizes all sensory parts of the body and mind, and is especially good for developing minds. Music classes are a great way to bond with your baby through dance, song and music rhythms. Bringing music and movement into your home creates a fun, calming effect on your little ones and reinforces what you did that day in your music class. Form my experience, going to a music class with my little man was such an eye opening experience. You are given a little pack with a music CD and book with other information material for use at home. In class you gather around on a mat on the floor, all concentrating just on the singing teacher. You are also encouraged to join in the singing. My little man was roughly only 3 months old when he started his first class. The teacher mentioned how babies brains are stimulated by a soprano tone, and so began our wonderous journey into music with my little man, Codi. The teacher would sing in this beautiful soprano voice and immediately all our babies would turn their heads to the sound of her voice. We all mentioned half jokingly, if we could take her home with us! During the class, we danced and we twirled, we sung to different beats and moved in different formations. I found when I was at home and I played the same music we sung and danced to, my son would be transfixed and mesmerized. It was amazing to experience this when Codi was just 3 months old, as I was quite skeptical to start with. Bonding I also found that music and singing helped in my communication and bonding with my son. If he became impatient in the car or in his high car, I would sing his favorites and he would immediately settle and concentrate on me, until I could find that pacifier/dummy or bowl of food. Now in his third term, he laughs at my 'Kookaburra' song, and jiggles like he's dancing when I put the CD on. You also get a book to read based on the term's music theme, in your music pack and it's the only book that I can get him to focus his attention on and sit still to listen to. It's still a 'favorite' today, (at 18 months). From three months onwards, I also found that these classes gave me ideas for what I could do with him during the day. I'd sometimes hold him swaying with a song, dancing to calm him for nap time or excite him from a distance with... 'go into the kitchen and take a peek' song, as I made his breakfast. In class, he loves the 'kids gathering drum' and finds fun in shaking the casters or listening for that 'humming bird'. It definitely encouraged me to recognize and really experience what it's like to 'get something back' from him, even when he was very little, at 3 months!! I was definitely hooked. Connection In his first term I experienced a connection I never thought I would get so early. Indeed they do give something back other than a smile and a kick. In the case with my son, he picked up on the rhythm, laughed back and recognised songs when I played them back to him. It felt like I had a communication link to my son, and we had fun together. I found a higher level of interaction and recognition and a much calmer baby in difficult situations. Other than the music from the music class, he also loves classic jazz in the car (now Delta Goodrum), as travel music and 'fur lise' on the piano, (which I played when he was in utero), and he just fades away into relaxation. My husband didn't believe me and I am sure he thought I was using my imagination. But each time he put 'talk back' radio on in the car, he experienced loud protests from the passenger in the back. He learnt pretty quickly to put that jazz on I had mentioned to him to put on as his drove with Codi and he told me he put it on really fast to silence the cries. Eventually, this extended to the tough hours between 4-6pm where I would find my husband (on his turn to mind bub on the weekend), putting the actual music CD on from our classes!! Now all we do is both sing these songs to him throughout the whole day, with the grandparents getting in on the act. A few months down the track, he also bangs some tunes (noise) on the piano, very dramatic. He finds the microphone a funny thing, loves shouting and singing into the mic. Whilst in the toilet too, as the sound echos...(the toilet on the plane was also an interesting vocal experience, got lots of smiles as I returned to my seat, hehe). In conclusion I really have had a lot of fun with my son learning the world of music together. More importantly how it stimulates their brains and teaches them beat and rythym which helps babies later when they grow up and start learning mathematics. For now, it's just the most useful and heart warming experience I have had in helping me enjoy motherhood and make it more pleasant experience for Codi and the whole family.

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