Did you know that babies can identify melodies sung by their mother during pregnancy, up to one month after their birth?
With this in mind, it is never too early to start preparing your baby for the world of music. My number one musical top-tip for all Mums to be is to ‘sing to your bump’. Now I’m not talking about a full-scale musical production here (there’s no need for a rendition of Les Miserables), just a few simple tunes, with limited pitches that you could ‘nail’ over your final months of pregnancy.
Good examples include: The Hokey Cokey (actions optional at this point), Incy Wincey Spider, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Hush Little Baby. All of these songs have a simple melodic line which even the most ‘tone deaf’ of singers (no such thing; I’ll get to that in another blog) can execute to a decent standard. It is important that only the ‘pure’ voice is used, without backing tracks or other musical adaptations. This is so baby can discriminate the sound and begin to develop aural recognition. I know it is tempting to whack MTV on a pretend with a hairbrush to be Beyonce, that’s great for a Friday night, but in this instance, a more reserved approach is needed - you can still wear the leotard though.
The repertoire you choose, or the playlist to those of the iPod generation, will provide a good foundation for when baby is born. It’s a ‘double whammy’, because not only by singing are you developing your newborns aural discriminatory ability, but you are also in a position to use these songs as signposts for routine and communication during the first few months after birth. More on this in my next blog...
If you want more information about how to give your child the best musical start, check out my Facebook or Twitter page: Music in Unison.