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music skills


Purchase age–appropriate musical toys and rhythm instruments: xylophone, bells, and rattle are wonderful beginning instruments.

Sing a set of songs regularly as babies (like adults) respond to music which is familiar. Repetition is necessary so that music can be stored in the memory, even of the youngest baby.

When listening to music aim at variety with a few examples you play frequently. Some sung by men, some by women, solos and choirs so bub gets used to hearing different voices. Also include a variety of instruments and unaccompanied.

Encourage bub to mimic the musical sounds and songs you sing. Infants as young as two months olds are able to imitate the pitch and intensity of the songs their parents sing them.

"Tell me, I forget…show me, I remember… involve me, I understand." - Carl Orff

Play musical games and fingerplays. Clap the beat as you sing, and take bub’s hands and clap the beats. There are many wonderful fingerplays, such as:

  • Where is Thumbkin
  • The farmer in the dell
  • The brave old duke of york
  • The wheels on the bus
  • Trot, trot to Boston
  • Where is the beehive.

Incorporate movement in your music experiences with your child. Movement is an indispensable part of learning and thinking. Your child will also gain memory skills learning to sing a variety of songs with different rhythms.

Children benefit from being able to observe their own movements. A large expanse of safety mirror in the movement area allows children to watch themselves and get feedback on their responses to music.

Bounce your baby whilst singing:

  • Sitting on the edge of your chair, hold the baby facing you and lift your heels off the ground to bounce your baby while you sing
  • As above, but the baby’s back is against your tummy
  • Holding the baby on one knee and lift the heel of that leg
  • Sitting on the floor with your knees drawn up and hold the baby on your knees

Encourage your child to dance to the music, march, sing, whistle melodies, hum tunes and play musical games with other children. These boost your child’s growing language, listening and motor skills.


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