When I first did my training for Music Together, my daughter was 3 months old and I thought I had tons of time to get her into a music class. And I did - BUT I didn’t realize how much music had already been a part of her life. Actually, for EVERY baby music has been a part of their little lives without you even knowing it.
Did you know: A Baby’s hearing develops at approximately 19-20 weeks gestation?
They are in there half of the time you are pregnant, HEARING. It’s muffled, but it’s there.
By the time a baby is born, their hearing is their most developed sense. Their sight isn’t good and even their central nervous system isn’t perfect yet. But their hearing is quite sharp.
Even though they don’t give you a lot of feedback when they hear your voice, they are very heavily relying on that sense in order to understand their surroundings.
All babies are born musical - even you!
In North America we are losing the tradition to make music as a community
Music actually changes the way that our brains operate! Seriously! It’s a little bit of magic when you see an Alzheimer’s patient sing a song from memory, perfectly. Or a non verbal Autistic child communicate with you through music. It begs the questions how and why?
Music activates ALL parts of the brain!
Activities like reading and math, use very specific parts of the brain, where-as making music, engages the entire brain. Even just listening to music activates the entire brain, but not to the same extent as actually MAKING the music. Just think about it: we turn on a song, and as we listen, we process three different components (pitch, language & beat) and tap our toe simultaneously. We are able to process the music SO QUICKLY that our toe isn’t the slightest bit delayed in it’s movement. From this, we can conclude that we are hard wired to make sense of music and we process it so naturally that we aren’t even aware we are doing it!
When we speak to our children, we aren’t as repetitive as when we sing to them.
And no matter how much they love music class, they are (usually) never upset when it is over, because we sang the ‘Goodbye Song’ and that is the end of the format that they understand. It is absolutely magical to watch them settle into the routine, the predictability, the anticipation, and it is all because of the repetition that is incorporated into music!
"Singing daily for at least ten minutes
So many times I have PERSONALLY arrived at music class stressed to the max, and within ten minutes of class, I am breathing deeper and smiling brighter. I always know that I just have to get to class, and I will be okay. The craziness of my day will always subside with the community and love I feel from the Moms around me that are just trying to keep it together. And for that 45 minutes, we are all able to keep it TOGETHER!
Children learn best in a family style learning environment.
In North America, we have become obsessed with the idea of grouping our children with other kids their own age but watching this family style learning it in action makes that research completely undeniable. The older children show off for the little guys, while the little ones try to mimic the older children. We are designed to copy everything our loved ones do when we are small, so anyone that is a part of the family unit is a VERY important role model for the child. Siblings are especially exciting to watch because the little one always looks at the older one with stars in their eyes.
It is also WONDERFUL to have the mixed age class because each child is at a different stage of development. For example, if I need suggestions for a song, and I have 10 four-year-olds in front of me, I won’t be able to include all of them. If I only have 4 or 5 four-year-olds in a class, I can be sure to include all of their ideas. If I had a class filled with 2 year olds, I would have to limit how many egg shakers they are allowed (2 year olds are HOARDERS!!), but since I only have 2 or 3 two-year-olds, they can hoard all they want! Being able to serve each child at their level of development is such an incredible gift to give these kids. The mixed age class is beyond cool.
When I was a teenager, I always that music was about being good at it.
We come into this world with the potential to be music makers.
We are HARD WIRED to process and make sense of it. We thrive when we participate in it, and we learn important life and academic skills through it. It is the most fulfilling activity that I can think of for any family to find joy in each other. Even on the hard days.
Pamela is the proud owner and director of Music Together® of Orangeville and has had the pleasure of teaching the program since 2014. Pamela is a graduate of the Music Theatre Performance Program at Sheridan College and before entering the parenting world, she was a professional performer, working with Stage West (Vagina Monologues), Drayton Entertainment (Anne of Green Gables, My Fair Lady), Theatre Orangeville (A Christmas Carol), Moonpath Productions (Totally Scrooged), TIFT (Emily), ACT Productions (I Love You You're Perfect Now Change, Tick Tick Boom), Oh Canada Eh? (Rocky Horror) and many others.
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