Article by: Karen Eaves
Nursery rhymes and lullabies are familiar to all of us, but did you realise that by singing with your baby and playing them music you are actually helping them grow and develop their brains. In today’s society we often seek out activities or buy toys to engage our little ones that will not only occupy them but also help them develop, and it is all too easy to overlook the simple benefits of listening to and singing music.
Music and singing is one of the most instinctive things we do with our newborns, gently humming and crooning to soothe, settle and offer comfort as we cradle them in our arms, or using lullabies as a part of a regular sleep routine. This crooning forms the first basis of communication with our babies, long before words can be understood. Eventually as baby grows into a toddler they begin singing and dancing to nursery rhymes, and in doing so they not only increase vocabulary, but also stimulate the frontal lobes helping language development.
These days many people are aware of the different sides of the brain being linked to creativity and logic. When we sing nursery rhymes an interesting thing happens. Words, usually handled by the logical side of the brain become handled by the creative side of the brain when they are a part of music, and the creative side of the brain is also associated with memory. It is for this reason that music is used so often as a tool to help learn things such as the alphabet. (It is also why you can remember the lyrics to a song, yet as a busy mum you can’t remember what day of the week it is!)
There is a substantive body of research now surrounding the importance of music. One of the more familiar is the research into increased concentration when listening to complex forms of music – also referred to as The Mozart Effect. On an extreme level, studies have even taken place about the health benefits of music, and include everything from singing for happiness, to using music for pain relief because of the endorphins released.
Music For Baby is a small family business, started by a mother, musician and educationalist that wanted to provide the perfect soundtrack to her baby’s life. Collections of music have been recorded specifically to support development and to encompass a range of activities including babydance, babysing, babycreate, babycalm and babysleep collections. The Music For Baby website sells musical instruments for babies, CDs including the newly released “Jazz Nursery Rhymes” from the babyexplore collection, and has a wealth of information and articles along with lyrics to all your favourite nursery rhymes. There is even an app available for iphone and ipad. To find out more or listen to examples of the music visit www.musicforbaby.co.uk
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