Let Your Child Make Noise
Far removed from the days of ‘children should be seen but not heard’, we now understand that making noise is a really important part of infant development.
Using their voices and bodies to create sounds, and participating in creating noisy music with parents, carers or within a baby music group, helps very young children to recognise their impact on the world. It makes them feel important; teaches them about the positive effects their actions can have; and builds their confidence.
That’s why percussion is so wonderful for babies.
Drumming Makes Babies Happy
This study shows that one year old babies who regularly participate in interactive music classes smile more often, communicate more effectively, and show early and sophisticated brain responses to music. The freedom to shake things and hit things, and to receive positive responses from the adults around them as a result, is a powerful developmental tool to give to your baby — right from the beginning.
Music therapist Bill Matney, along with percussionist Kalani, wrote an article detailing the types of therapeutic experiences that drumming can facilitate. Top of the list is Drum Play. It requires no drumming experience, technique or ability, and is the perfect way to introduce drumming to a baby.
Your child might focus on the appearance or feel of the instrument itself — for example, a shiny saucepan not only makes a great noise, but is a sensual experience in itself, with a cool, smooth surface as well as its light-reflecting qualities.
And then they’ll start to discover different noises they can make with it.
Playing Is Learning
Drums and other percussion instruments can allow babies to make connections between different actions and sounds; for example, shakers can imitate rain; banging a drum can imitate footsteps, or a knock on the door; and so on. They can move their instruments around, and create different sounds by putting their other toys inside their drums.
Whether you’re playing with percussion at home or in a class setting, combining this kind of play with other music adds another dimension to your child’s experience.
When you put a familiar baby song on in the background and give your infant a shaker or a drum to play along with, they can begin to learn about rhythm and get a feel for how the sounds they create relate to other music.
But none of this needs to be serious: drum play is fun, easy, and best approached with no expectations.
All of this experimenting helps your child’s creativity develop. It gives them more confidence in the value of their own actions. Your enthusiastic reactions to the sounds they make will instil a love of being a part of things, and make them feel that their contributions are important.
Playing with drums and music is a wonderful and nourishing way to enjoy a rainy day at home.
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