Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Rhymes, Rhythm and Music

A friend said her Maternal and Child Health Nurse commented that she had never heard a 6 month old vocalising as much as her daughter.  Perhaps it would be mean to say, 'like mother, like daughter', but this is probably true. Babies have been regularly engaged in 'conversations' with their parents are much more likely to be early and engaged talkers themselves.  This means active engagement with eye contact and facial expressions as part of the interaction, not just hearing a lot of background talk.

It is also about having fun with sounds.  Responding in pleasure to their noises, imitating back the sounds and describing what you are doing eg 'I'm changing your nappy now.  Yuck what a mess!'

But it also includes the baby rhymes and actions:
Nursery rhymes are great fun, although the range of rhymes we tend to say these days seems to have diminished.  What has happened to
Part of the pleasure of these rhymes is the rhythms that go with the words.  Learning the rhythm of speech is an important part of language learning eg statements are flat, questions go up, instructions are given in a different tone from statements.

Rhythm also invokes actions: clapping, stamping, drum beats, rhythm sticks, rattles and we're starting to get into music, tunes, and more and more complicated rhythms.

If I were asked what I would miss most if I were deaf, obviously the answer would be the voices of my family and friends, but coming in close behind would be music.  Music in all its forms: classical, rock, folk, jazz, opera and the many different traditions that come under the heading of world music.  Making and listening to music is, I think, as old as humankind.  It has been used for recreation, telling stories, religious rituals and as a background to work.  It has the power to soothe when we are tense and stressed, to rouse to action against tyranny and injustice and to lift the spirits when we are sad.  In its different forms it expresses the whole range of human emotions.

While there is a specific genre of children's music with simple, repetitive sounds, even babies will respond to a variety of 'adult' music, and it seems a pity to feed them a constant diet of Wiggles and Hi-5 when this can be varied with so many other sounds, enriching your day and theirs.

How do you use music with children?

No comments:

Post a Comment