I got to see my sister and her family in Phoenix this last week and loved every minute with them all! Their children are 4 1/2 years old, and just-turned-one year old! My babies had the nerve to get big, but when I’m with my youngest sister and her little ones, it’s so fun to feel the memories of those earlier days. It’s also fun to be an outsider and to watch and listen to how she nurtures her babies in so many ways. She’s a beautiful mommy; singing with her baby, pointing out her nose, ears, mouth, hair, and feet, asking her “what does the dog say?”, and all the other things that she says and does a hundred times in a day that come so naturally.
Watching and listening to their interaction made me see how vital and natural music is to a baby’s development–and even a mommy’s mommy-ing!
Nonsense singing: I can’t even say that she ever sang a “real” song with her baby. It was all silly singing: repetition, routines set to a tune, “what’s next” in a rhyme, etc. It was a kind of soundtrack to their normal, everyday stuff. But her baby loved it! And she responded to it with smiles, vocalizing, giggling, peek-a-boos, waving, and all of her other little baby-tricks. Is my sister a virtuoso? Nope. Does she have professional musical training? Nu-uh. But, she’s a natural singer and something in her is compelled to sing to her baby.
Transitional singing: Babies fuss. It can go along with the “death and taxes” idiom. But how did my sister respond? With singing. Again, no formula, just some sort of musical lyric about fuss-a-fuss-baby and somebody-is-so-tired. But it was enough of an attention-getter that helped to encourage a fussy baby into a smiling baby. What could have been an escalating, frustrating situation was quickly redirected and neutralized. Like magic!
Night-night singing: Probably the best kind, right? I would bet most of us have attachments to a certain lullaby that we know and we sing, now. Quiet music and rocking back and forth–babies have heard it since they were in utero–the rhythmic heartbeat, the floating, the muted tones from beyond the womb. Of course a lullaby is comforting! Whether you have an old standard or you just make up your own song, just go with it.
In Kindermusik, we not only learn new songs for those little moments, but we get to learn how many hundreds of things are happening with all of those connecting synapses. So, embrace the singing inside of you! Let it out! It’s good for you and it’s best for those babies. Be silly, be sentimental, and SING!
This post brought to you by Jenny Leggett who still gets away with some silly singing around the house.