Posted by: Lisa | November 2, 2010

It’s Music to our Ears

The first three years of a person’s life is the most critical time for learning important concepts and building the foundation of all future learning.  Most people understand that, and parents often feel tremendous pressure to truly make the most of that time period.  There are only so many hours in the day, particularly for parents who work outside the home, so how does one decide what to do with his/her child?

I’m thrilled to be staying home with Jacob, but the flip side of that joy is worry that I’m denying Jacob some crucial experiences by not having him in a daycare where he’s surrounded by peers and a variety of adults each day.  To compensate for his lack of daycare time, I try to get us involved in playdates, library story time, childcare time at the YMCA, and classes such as tumbling, swimming, and music.  Then I worry that I’m going to overwhelm Jacob or cause him stress to be so busy, because I know downtime at home is super important.  Ahh!  I guess it’s a mom’s nature to feel guilty no matter what she does.

We’ve been attending a weekly Kindermusik class in Charlotte this Fall.  The teacher & I recently decided to move Jacob up to the next age group and it was the right choice.  He loved being around the slightly older kids this week & I know he’ll learn a lot from watching them.  My mom plans to pay for Jacob to continue the class after Christmas (what a practical Christmas gift!).  As someone who is trained in early childhood education and has spent her entire life involved in music, I am passionate about exposing babies and toddlers to a lot of music.  I’ve tried my best at home, but the music class enhances my efforts.

Multiple sources link formal music lessons in older children with increased abilities in language, math, & spatial understanding.  One study showed that bouncing a toddler on your knee while singing or even speaking a rhyme can help the child learn rhythm, recall more words, & further develop parts of his brain.  I think it’s fascinating.  On a personal note, I have actually noticed a change in Jacob since we’ve been doing Kindermusik.  He pays very close attention to music now and loves dancing or even humming along.  He turns his CD player on every single time we’re in his room.  He’s getting better at following directions and is beginning to notice what other children are doing when we’re in class – even simple things like putting instruments back in the box or imitating a particular move – things he doesn’t always get just from watching me.

Seeing as Jacob probably doesn’t stand a chance at being athletic, given his parents’ athletic (dis)abilities and strong musical backgrounds, I think it’s in everyone’s best interest if I continue exposing my boy to music!  🙂

http://www.kindermusik.com
http://www.musictogether.com (a similar program to Kindermusik)

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