Music classes for babies and young children
All groups run in the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. Sessions last 45 minutes, are well-planned, structured and inclusive, and are run at various times during the week.
These classes run on a ten-week basis offering a general introduction to the pleasures of music-making with your baby. The sessions offer songs, rhymes and activities, which can be continued with the baby at home.
The group meets once a week and consists of up to ten adults and their babies.
Each session, which is 45 minutes long, will contain all 3 of these easy ways to help you be ‘in tune’ with your baby and give them the very best start to developing their motor co-ordination and thinking (cognitive) skills. Growth during the first year of life is more rapid than at any other time in their life.
Music begins within our bodies and, whilst still in the womb, baby hears the strong pulse of your heartbeat because the ears are perfectly formed at 22 weeks gestation. They can hear the swoosh of blood being pumped around the body creating a safe and secure environment.
At birth, babies find comfort and security in rhythm as they are rocked, patted, suck milk and bounced rhythmically – all physical experiences which help to strengthen the bond between parent and baby. Together you will share a multi-sensory experience of touch, sight, smell and sound as your baby learns to know music with and through their body.
Feeding babies with touches, giving food to their skin and their back is just as important as filling their tummies. It makes outside happy and both inside and outside satisfied. Being touched and caressed is food for baby, as necessary as the minerals, vitamins and protein given in their milk. The gentle touch of baby massage promotes relaxation and encourages baby’s self-healing potential.
Following on from baby massage, there will be an opportunity for you to build on the skills and activities learnt, including baby gym, which helps towards muscle development and the flexibility which will enable your baby to crawl, sit up on their own from a lying down position, and to roll over, so strengthening the weight bearing joints – shoulders, hips, knees and ankles – to give strong, confident toddlers.
The time between birth and when a child speaks its first word can be a time of miscommunication, and can cause many frustrations for the child, as babies can understand and express much more than previously thought. Babies are born intelligent, and have a hunger for contact and communication, which will accelerate the learning process. Within the session, 4 to 5 important words are used to begin with i.e. eat, drink (water or milk), more, bye bye and tickle.
Baby signs stimulate brain development particularly in the areas involved in language, memory and concept (thinking) skills. Every time the child is successful, connections get made or strengthened that make it easier for other efforts to succeed. Without signs, these changes would have to wait until they could actually say the words, often months later.
The groups for children aged from 9 months to 3 years of age are presented in an informal way, without any pressure being placed on the child to perform musically in any particular way.
We aim to give the child a positive experience of music and for them to appreciate music for him/herself by listening to it, moving to it, or creating it at whatever age or ability they have reached.
We are particularly trying to give confidence to you, the parents and carers, to share and enjoy music with your child, and you don’t need to be a musician to do this! You are your child’s first, best and most important teacher and already have the right tools to hand – yourself, your relationship with your child, your voice and your willingness to be involved in learning to do new activities with your child.
We cater for all abilities and personalities – those that like to be on the move and those who prefer to sit still.
The group is kept small to provide an environment where the child can feel safe and secure, and to provide intimacy, enabling the adults to feel at ease too.
There are many opportunities during the sessions to develop the child’s:
Our terms are grouped into 5 weekly sessions and follow a theme which remains constant during those weeks.
All songs and activities are based on that theme, which might include such topics as bodies, colours, numbers or weather, but whichever it might be, it will lie within the child’s experience and understanding.
All the songs and activities allow for constant repetition, giving the child the opportunity to learn new skills and to grow in confidence by being able to predict what will come next. New songs and activities are added, where appropriate.
As well as experiencing all the different elements of music making, children will learn about the world around them. Time will be given over for movement to music, dance and drama, and the children will be encouraged to express themselves fully through singing, playing instruments, call and response games and working together.
As the group caters for children from three years to school age, each child’s experience and contribution will vary depending on age, ability, experiences and personality, and each child will work at his or her own level, and will grow and develop at a rate that is suitable for them.
The children have great fun working on many of the skills required for music making including:
In addition to this, they are also improving their concentration, listening skills and building self-confidence, with the activities helping to encourage self-awareness, the ability to work in a group, and develop an understanding and acceptance of others.
"All children should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument"