Monday, August 27, 2012

Babies and Music

Babies and Music Strings, Keys and Melodies photo
Babies and Music

Scientists say that hearing begins at 19-20 weeks gestation.  That means babies can hear talking, singing, and musical instruments before they are even born!  Singing songs lays groundwork for language growth, reading, speaking and self-expression.  The best advantage is the potential of music to convey feelings of love, delight and security to baby and the ability to bond the family together. For more advantages of music read The Benefits of Music.

Nursery rhymes and lullabies are used in every corner of the world to teach, calm and soothe babies.  The repetition, rhyming words and stories in these songs teach babies language skills, cultural history and beginning math.  To learn more about how to use nursery rhymes and children’s songs read Teach Your Child Using Nursery Rhymes and Children’s Songs.

Listening and creating real music helps baby figure out his place in space and time, organize his movements and gain control of his body. 

Newborns:  Sing lullabies to your newborn baby.  She will not care what you sound like but she will be soothed and comforted by your voice and the vibration you make while she lies on your chest.

Lullaby ideas:    Rock a Bye Baby

                        Hush Little Baby

                        Jesus Loves Me

                        You are My Sunshine

                        Angels Watching Over Me

                        Amazing Grace

Ready to Play:  One of the best ways to engage little ones is through songs and finger plays.  You are teaching them about their bodies and the world round them.

            Finger play ideas:   This Little Piggy

                                            1, 2, 3, 4, 5, I Caught a Fish Alive

            Peek-a-Boo – not technically a song but you do sing-song when you say “Peek-a-Boo” and that is teaching pitch and timing!

Ready to Sing:  These little ones are ready to join in the fun.  There are great songs to help teach and develop gross motor skills and body coordination.  This is also a great time to make music using big fat rhythm sticks, rattles and bells!

            Movement song ideas:  Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes –even if they can’t stand yet, you can place their hands on the correct body parts!

                                                  If You’re Happy and You Know It

                                                BINGO – substitute your child’s name and he will soon be spelling his own name!

Music comes so naturally to babies.  Lullabies can calm and soothe.  Songs and finger plays can teach and entertain.  And singing together will show love and create wonderful memories.

Title picture created using artwork by Trina Clark at


  1. It's amazing that hearing begins so early in development!

  2. Great article. I did teach my boys to spell their names with Bingo and it works great! (Helps that they both have 5 letters in their names ;)

    1. Jackie, that is how I taught all of my girls to spell their names too! Some have more than 5 letters but we made it work.
      Thanks for reading!

  3. Babies are so sweet and do begin hearing and learning before birth. They are so smart! You could make a lullabies CD with links to your blog. It would be nice for parents, too, for being calm. Carolyn
    Jackie---you are such a great teacher, did you plan those 5 letter names for learning? Just teasing!

    1. Carolyn,
      I like your lullaby idea. That would be cool! Thank you for reading!