I often sit with my two children, Abigail and Charlie, and attempt to bring alive very popular nursery rhymes on my guitar. These mini music sessions can go one of two ways, either a barrel of laughs and a room full of music or a complete and utter meltdown. Abigail likes to help strum the guitar, which she is quite good at but Charlie gets a bit eager and pushes Abigail out of the way and pulls randomly at the strings in his attempt to play - hence the meltdowns
Besides the meltdowns, my children can not get enough of music. I try and incorporate it as much as possible into our daily lives and have some serious Spotify playlists happening. There is so much music out there for children. You do have to wade through a lot of unbelievably random songs to get the ones that you sing for days on end. Dare I say Baby Shark?
I am a true believer in that music and movement helps children discover so much about themselves and the world they live in. It is one of the many reason why I have decided to start music and movement classes at Smashed It Dance Company.
I was caught in a web of watching random YouTube videos the other day and came across one titled Teaching Rhythms and Patterns to Your Baby
Sarah, who published the video, talks about how music is a “prelude to language development.” and I couldn’t agree more. Charlie’s first sentences, and I will use that in a very loose context, are repeated from his favourite songs. He quite loudly sings the phrase “Let it go” (with pretty good pitch I must say) and “All Day Long”, from the Wheels on the bus. The use of repetitive patterns has helped him build the foundations of language.
Families have been quick to embrace the dance classes I run at Smashed It Dance Company and I strongly believe that the music and movement classes will be the same.
A lot of song and dancing are jammed into the 30 minutes, which makes it a whole lot of fun. Each class explores a different theme through the music and movement. I introduce the theme through the use of a children’s book and the class goes on to explore this theme through a variety of songs. I honestly believe by doing it this way, children start to begin to make real world connections with the stories they read and the songs they sing - plus who doesn’t love a good book.
When Abigail was little we used to attend Rhyme Time at the local library. We both loved it and it helped me remember all the old nursery rhymes I learnt growing up. These are a wonderful free resources for families. I guess you could say that my lessons are derived from the programs my local libraries provide, just with a bit more dancing and some crazier songs.
One message that I do try to get across to families attending my classes, is that most often infant and toddler responses happen away from the class. I can’t encourage you enough to try and replicate what I do in my classes with your children in the comfort of your own home. There is always time for a song or dance while the veggies are boiling on the stove.
Some of my fondest memories growing up involve music and I wish to share that with everyone. Music and movement bring people together in a joyful and playful experience. Music speaks from the soul and touches the heart. To me, music is an element of life. And what better what to nurture your child’s development and your relationship than with joyful music & movement.
If you are looking for a fun music & movement activity that encourages children to develop their creative skills come and check out Smashed It Dance Company’s Music & Movement class or check out your local library’s baby and toddler programs.
Are you sick of the same nursery rhymes? Or are looking for more music resources? Then follow Smashed It Dance on Spotify here