Your baby’s early musical awakeningSeptember 2015

Children and music, it’s a great love story... Even before they are born, babies are sensitive to the sounds that reach them. And from the youngest age, and throughout their development, music is a vector of pleasure and sensory awakening. Find out how the world of sound can benefit your little one’s development!

 

Development of the sense of hearing in the womb

Even while still inside you, your baby is already aware of sounds and music, indeed, hearing is the most developed sense in the unborn child. From the 16th week of pregnancy, babies can respond to sounds that reach them and from the 30th week, their ear is fully formed. Their preference is for low frequencies like the beating of your heart, the voice of their father or the sound of waves on a beach: put your hand on your tummy and you will feel the baby move slowly as if rocked by these soothing sounds. Conversely, high-pitched sounds and sudden noises may make a baby jump.

Music also already has an effect on him: when you listen to it, his heartbeat changes and he begins to move. Babies appear to prefer gentle melodies and particularly like the sound of the piano: try one of Chopin’s nocturnes or a Bach prelude, for example!

 

The new-born’s musical ear

From birth onwards, your baby is sensitive to music. If you listen regularly to the same pieces during your pregnancy, play them to him again: he will recognize them without difficulty and you will also see him show an interest. These songs will also be a great help to you when your baby has difficulty sleeping or cries continuously: the soothing effect of familiar music is very noticeable in many children as it reminds them of the positive emotions they felt before birth, making them feel very secure and calm.

From the youngest age, your baby will also love you singing to him: even if you are not a great singer, no voice can match yours to his little ears! Nursery rhymes and lullabies stimulate his ability to listen, his concentration, his artistic sense and language learning, among other things. So music becomes a real key to learning and emotional development between you.

 

When your baby becomes a musician

Your baby’s interest in music will grow as he does. From four to six months, you can give him rattles with bells or maracas, which he will enjoy shaking (more or less) in time. A little later, picture books with sound and toys that make music when buttons are pressed will go down very well.

As soon as your baby can sit upright unaided, you will also be able to give him small musical instruments, increasing in complexity as he develops: begin with a drum, maracas or a keyboard, which are very easy to use. Some time later, he will be able to try a harmonica, guitar or even the xylophone. In all cases, they will love playing with sound and producing it as they see fit! These instruments will also provide an opportunity to refine their motor function, ear and musicality.

If your baby enjoys all these sound games, consider putting his name down for music classes for the very young. These workshops are often available from one year onwards and offer a multitude of music-related activities: singing, dancing, voice games, instrument recognition and experimentation, working with rhythm, etc. Ideal for budding musicians!

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