This is a question that is often asked to me by parents in my sessions. With the popularity of the Mozart effect and the associated studies, parents are inclined to go down this route as their preferred choice for a musical diet. However, just as many studies have dispelled this myth saying that classical music doesn’t make your child smarter. So where does that leave us?
How about listening to music for pleasure and any other by-product that may present itself as a result is a bonus? With this in mind, we need to think carefully about what repertoire we ‘enforce’ upon our little one. I think of it like a diet, if we only expose our children to potatoes and beans, how will they develop a preference for other wonderful foods? The same applies to music. Babies are born ready to listen as their hearing is one of the first senses to develop in the womb. Popular western culture serves our little one’s a standard musical meal of nursery rhymes. Being a new mum, I have been amazed at the amount of places nursery rhymes present themselves as a means to facilitate other things (swimming classes, messy play, sensory classes etc). Nursery rhymes can be a fun way to engage your little one musically, but there are also problems associated with them and I will address this in another blog. Our children are like sponges, let’s soak them in a wide, varied mix of musical styles. I am always surprised how my little one innately responds to the music I play for her. Even at this early age, showing a preference towards Rock music, in particular The Offspring (Daddy’s fault) clapping and bouncing with enthusiasm. So, my message for this blog is to be bold, step outside your comfort zone and enrich your little one’s ears with lots of different musical styles. To get you started, here’s a link to a playlist I have created on iTunes music. For those of you who don't have it, they give 3 months free access and it's a great resource.