Planting "Musical" Seeds of Love

Planting Seeds of Love:
Making music with babies and their caregivers.
by Pam Donkin

One of my favorite things to do is to work with babies and their caregivers to help encourage bonding and musical response between them. Babies are never too young for music! After all, most begin hearing, in utero, around the 4th month. The same way they are learning the language of their culture they can also learn music. When surrounded by music they actually begin reacting and trying to make music with you! It can be so much fun for adults to learn how to recognize and encourage that playful exchange, and of course the babies just love it! The babies are fascinated by everything we adults do and when we focus on them and sing, they immediately start either kicking their feet , moving to the rhythm, or they may begin to coo and many times will coo in the key in which you are singing to them! If they do coo or make some other sound the best way to begin a musical conversation is to coo back to them. That encourages them to continue and then you can go back to singing the song which further encourages them to continue the exchange. Cooing is a beautiful, non- verbal way to deepen the relationship and at the same time get the language out of the way. I call it planting seeds of love.

-by Pam Donkin

Pam Donkin is an award-winning songwriter, performer and recording artist on the Gentle Wind label. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area she presents workshops for babies (ages infant to age 12 mo) and their caregivers as well as family music programs ( children's ages 2-8) in the Bay Area and beyond.For further information go to

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