Priyanka Seth Pandit, Director and Teacher at Music Together Mumbai tells us the umpteen benefits of music for babies and how we can teach them to love music at a very young age.
Starting early helps in developing a positive disposition
Just like how we speak or read to our babies if we want them to develop language, introducing them to music early on, helps them to develop a positive disposition towards it. The repetitive rhythms and words of lullabies and songs are appealing to babies, right from the unborn stage in the womb.
Stimulates the brain, language development, motor skills
Introducing your baby to music helps in stimulating the brain and building cognitive skills. It helps in sharpening a baby’s memory and in their emotional development. Language development, which primarily takes place in the first 5 years of a child’s life, is accentuated with the exposure to music. Furthermore, the actions and movements, which come along with music, help in developing fine and gross motor skills of the baby.
Exposing babies to a variety of music
Besides lullabies and rhymes where the repetitive rhythms and sounds soothe babies, exposing them to a wide variety of music across languages and genres is extremely helpful for their overall development.
The Music Together Program is an internationally recognized research-based music and movement program for parents and children from birth to age five, which enables children to sing to a tune and keep a beat consistently. It includes singing-rhythmic chants, creative movements and instrument play.
Parent as a role model
The class works on the premise that a parent is a baby’s primary role model. The class therefore focuses its attention/activities on what a parent could do to create a stimulating musical environment at home, so that all children can develop their musical intelligence.
Music at the prenatal stage
The ears are the first sensory organs that develop when in the womb. Babies love the sound of music, especially when sung by the mother. As a mother, its best to expose your unborn baby to the music that you love, because, that releases endorphins , which gives you a sense of euphoria, in turn having a positive effect on the baby.
Helps resolve sleep issues
Music is especially useful for unsettled and colicky babies. It also helps in resolving sleep issues as lullabies go along with the heartbeat of the baby and help in relaxing them. Research done at The Great Ormond Street Hospital in England showed that when children under 3 were exposed to music, it helped in reducing their pain and anxiety levels. Their heart rate slowed down which resulted in them being more relaxed and comfortable.
Priyanka, is the director and one of the teachers of ‘Music Together Mumbai,’ and has been associated with the program since 2002. She has also recently introduced the ‘Music in Measures’ program to Mumbai, which is based on the philosophies of Music Together while using material, literature and songs from Indian folklore and a variety of world music genres. She is also involved in Camlin Kids Power, a social initiative for underprivileged children that exposes them to important social issues through the medium of music and art.
To know more about Music Together: http://www.musictogethermumbai.com/
Link to Camlin Kids Power https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbQn0CfNF_M