Yes, I heard it today when 6 month olds Maddie and Mia were playing the guitars and we were singing our opening song, “Hello Hey”. They aren’t singing the words, of course, but they are vocalizing and making sound. And loudly! We were all giggling about it.
It’s great to see (and hear) the effect that our classes have on them. Here we are, week 6 out of our 10 week session and this is really when the kids open up and start to blossom in music class. They are more free and open to being in class. They become less shy and they dance and even sing!! By now, they are starting to learn the words to the songs and starting to know the other children in class. It’s a really fun time in the class session.
But this is about singing babies! Yes, they can sing, believe it or not!
I see the reactions of some of the moms when they hear the infants (under one year) start to vocalize and make noise. I don’t think they realize that it’s their child trying to sing. But truly they are! I make sure to tell everyone in class too because I can see how you could pass it off as simple babble but to the early childhood music teacher that baby babble is GOLD!!
Jacob was doing it today with the guitars. We handed them out to the kids and he started strumming it and making a grunting noise. He KNEW what we going to do with them! Once we started singing he started swaying side to side with the guitar and grunting to the music. (Hey- I think even some adults grunt through music and call it singing!) But that was Jacob being a 15 month old rock star!!
One of my favorite things to do is to hand out the resonator bells in class and sing a simple tone with “La la la la la la la” and then stop and see what happens. It doesn’t always happen the first time but after a few tries there is always one or more of the infants copying me with their tongue making the motion of a “la la la” or they will start to make a sound to imitate the one I’m making.
Try it with your own infant at home. Sing “la la la la la” or “Bum Bum Bum” then pause. Do it again “La la la la la” then Pause. Continue doing this a few times and you will definitely get some verbal action happening with your infant, and especially toddlers.
A fun trick that Chris likes to do when a baby is crying in class is singing a song or even singing the same “la la la” again and at some point the baby will begin to cry in the key that he is singing in. (You can try that one too because it really does work!) Most times, if you just start singing it gets them to stop crying anyway so win-win on that one.
Next time your baby seems to be babbling put on some music or start singing to them to see what sounds they come up with.
Do they match the tone of the singing? Are they trying to imitate the sounds?
The fun thing about music and babies is that it’s a simple and effective way to help them communicate. They are limited in their communication skills so by making sounds that are musical it helps them form language and strengthen their verbal development.