Ages and Musical Developmental Stages: Infant to 5 years
Music class through the ages…
This upcoming winter season offers music classes for infants as young as 6 weeks to children as old as 5 years. How can this be? Music Together research has found that all children are musical and exhibit certain behaviors when music is played for them. Here is a short list of some of the musical behaviors to look for in your child when your child participates in Music Together classes on a regular basis:
- When it comes to music development, babies are generally in “receptive” mode, much of what they are learning at this stage is a result of what they’re taking in.
- Babies are sensory beings and they take in information from their environment – so your job as parent or caregiver is to simply provide a rich environment of music and movement.
- As babies become familiar with the music, they may turn toward the sound, make sucking movements, stretch their arms, or kick their legs – these are all musical responses!
- Toddlers crave the familiar: the same story, the same song…repetition is comforting and transitions are hard. That is why the Hello Song and Goodbye Song are so important to sing in every Music Together class! Listening to the CD’s and having a music time at home are important. This translates to when toddlers come into class they become excited that Ms. Carrie is playing “their music!”
- Toddlers will find a way to request the Music Together music with a sound or gesture, by pointing, speaking one word out of the song, or physically doing the motions they’ve learned with the song.
- Still ever the toddler, children at this age will begin to distinguish themselves from their parents or caregivers.
- Some of the less shy children will begin to dance excitedly in the middle of the room so everyone can see.
- Some of the shyer kids may stay on the fringes of the group observing and possibly refusing their parents encouragement to participate! However, they are participating by observing. As the caregiver, your role is to keep participating with the teacher to communicate that active music making is fun! Your toddler is watching to see how much the music means to the grown ups too!
- When listening to the CD in the car, you may be surprised to hear rhythm or tonal patterns being echoed from the car seat!
- For 3-year-old children, being in a play situation with peers is often still a novelty, they may be observers at first, and join in parallel-play besides their peers.
- At home, however, you will begin to see just how your child transfers the classroom activities into daily life. Children at this age often are heard singing parts of songs or repeating sections of rhymes and asking for the Music Together Music to be played at home or in the car.
- As a 3 year old grows, balance improves and she may increasingly be able to walk or dance to the beat of the song she is hearing.
- From 4 – 5 years, children are increasingly able to focus on the musical activity in the class.
- Children at this age are empowered to be “helpers” to the younger children in class by modeling movement and singing.
- Preschoolers look to be praised for their abilities and often share ideas for movements and new song lyrics to the music together songs.
- On the flip side, children at this age can also enter a period of participating less in class. They are more careful observers and listeners, comparing melodies or patterns they hear to their own attempts at musical expression. This important developmental period often comes just before a child “breaks through” and achieves basic music competence.
Now is the time to enrich your child’s life with the love and appreciation for music and build her competence and confidence while she is young! This hands on, interactive class is great for young learners. Register your child for a semester today!