This is your brain on music!

We've talked many times before about babies and language development. In utero your baby is already listening and internalizing the sounds of their native language. However, I recently read a report that shed more insight into the amazing power of a newborn's mind. After exposing 22 newborns to recordings of made up words, the researchers concluded that the human brain may be hard-wired to recognize certain repetition patterns. "It's probably no coincidence that many languages around the world have repetitious syllables in their 'child words' – baby and daddy in English, papa in Italian and tata (grandpa) in Hungarian, for example," says Gervain from UBC Dept. of Psychology's Infant Studies Centre.
Move ahead several years with this same thought, and you begin to realize how important repetition will be in all areas of learning. Take for example, your child's ability to learn math facts. What about phonics and reading?  All of these skills require repeated exposure or practice. My tool of choice when trying to engage children through repetition- music. In fact, studies show that young children who take music classes show different brain development and improved memory compared to children who do not receive musical training. With the repetitive beats, melodic patterns, and rhyming words, music is perfectly suited for stimulating the mind and learning new skills. It's why most little one's can sing their ABC's long before they can "chant" them. Do you have a great idea for using music to learn something new? I hope you'll share it in a comment.

Teaching Our Children About Love And Loss | Janet Lansbury

We recently experienced the loss of a beloved pet. I found a lot of great thoughts in the following blog post, and as I know we are not alone in this experience, I felt it was worth sharing with other parents. After all, some lessons we have to teach our children are just harder than others. :0/

Teaching Our Children About Love And Loss Janet Lansbury

Meet Laura and Ella

Welcome to this month's edition of We Are Kindermusik! Here's what Laura and Ella have to say about their Kindermusik experience.

At what age did your child begin taking Kindermusik classes? 16 months

Number of years you've attended classes? 1 and ½

What is your favorite Kindermusik song?
“I’m Just a Steamroller” I love watching Ella giggle as she bounces and rolls all around to the song – and it’s a great way to get her to burn off extra energy on a rainy day!

What is something that you’ve learned from your Kindermusik experience?
Toddlers truly are just like the little kangaroos Kindermusik uses for their Our Time mascot! I’ve learned that Ella will “bounce away” some days, and just want to cuddle in my lap on others – and that’s okay! I’ve also learned that music is a wonderful bridge for friendship – for both moms and kids.

Tell us about a favorite Kindermusik moment with your child:
My favorite in-class memory happens every week when we have what Ella calls “the rocking song”. To watch the kids explore, learn, and have fun with all of the instruments and dances, and then have her run to my lap for a cuddle during “the rocking song” is such a nice moment for us to reconnect before she’s off and running again. My favorite at-home memory stems from one of our other favorite songs “Round and Round the Racetrack Goes the Little Mare”. During what could have been a very disastrous dirty diaper change when Ella thought she should “help” me use the wipes, I remembered the Racetrack song with its hand motions and it kept Ella and her little hands occupied long enough for me to finish up – thank goodness!

Anything else you’d like to share?
We absolutely love Kindermusik (and Ms. Aimee!). We recommend the classes to everyone we know. I can’t say enough wonderful things about the programs and the staff at Delightful Sounds – they have helped me have more confidence as a mom, given me access to a wonderful network of moms, and brought new music and activities into our lives that I know we as a family will treasure for many years to come.
If you'd like to be featured as a We Are Kindermusik family, send us an email today!

Listen up!

We have always known that Moms are special, but according to a recently released study, Mom's voice plays a special role in activating her newborn's brain. In this experiment, babies who were less than 24 hours old were tested. When the newborn heard his mother's voice the area of the brain responsible for language acquisition was stimulated and awakened, as opposed to when he heard another woman's voice making the same sounds. Couple this with other studies discussing a parent's role in their child's language development and you'll get excited! Why? Because the best things you can do to enhance your child's language development are likely things that you are already enjoying with your baby. Try this checklist out:
  1. Singing lullabies or nursery rhymes
  2. Reading stories
  3. Making eye contact while "cooing and talking" to each other
  4. Labeling movements in the music while dancing together
  5. Try games like "I Spy" as a listening game and then mimic the sounds that you discover