Late last year I took my 1 year old to his first group music class, I was pretty excited, not just because I was doing something totally fun for work, but also because I was really curious to see how he would go with it, given our love of music at home.
Both my husband and I share a great love for music; it’s how we met and it’s often been how we spend our free time attending concerts and festivals or just singing along to our favourite songs at home. He has really fond memories of growing up as a young child with his Dad playing the guitar and singing to them when Mum was out. And I remember listening to my Mum and Nan singing to me when I was little, and carried on my love of music by taking up the drums in high school and performing in the school band and a couple of little gigs here and there.
So what are the real, underlying benefits of group music classes for babies and pre-schoolers? You might be pleasantly surprised by what I found:
- Fun – obviously, music is a pleasurable experience for most people. It can be uplifting, and enables you and your child to have special time together dancing, singing, being relaxed and enjoying each other’s presence
- Physical Development – listening to the beat, feeling the rhythm, moving their bodies to make music with instruments or by clapping, stomping and dancing all help to develop physical skills
- Social / Emotional – making music by shaking and banging helps to encourage self-expression in children and enables them to release any pent up emotions and frustrations. It can be a calming and fun experience for them.
- Language – hearing new words in songs, being exposed to new phrases and help expand a child’s vocabulary, and teach them other concepts through song such as the alphabet, colours, shapes, experiences, feelings and so on.
- Cognitive – in music children learn to detect patterns in rhythm and words, which stimulates different parts of the brain and memory than would normally be active during a regular day.
- Confidence – and finally, confidence, which is a massive one for me personally. As a teen, I lacked confidence in my music abilities, and I would often try to hide at the back of the stage (easy when you’re a drummer). And I struggled to really FEEL the music when I played, because I was so worried about what people were thinking about my ability, thus, actually hindering my ability. But now, in my 30s, I have overcome those fears and am happy now to just let it go! Playing solo or in a band with others gives children a real sense of achievement.
If you would like to attend one of Anne’s music classes, this is what you need to know:
- Classes are held in Mt Helen Monday Tuesday & Wednesday mornings, Creswick on Thursday mornings and Haddon on Friday mornings
- Children and their grown-ups will sing, dance, play musical instruments and participate in active listening activities
- Classes are $12 per session ($8 per sibling applicable from 6 months of age)
- Payment is made at the start of term, for one term at a time
- Classes are held during school terms (range between 7-11 weeks)
Who is Anne?
Anne Belcher studied a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Psychology) at the University of Melbourne before completing a Diploma of Education at Monash University. She has taught music to a wide range of ages for over fifteen years, as well as VCE Psychology. Anne runs “Branch Into Music – Early Childhood Development Through Music and Movement” from a number of community locations. She also teaches Music at Ballarat Clarendon College’s Early Learning Centre and regularly presents sessions for both children and parents on behalf of the Ballarat City Council, Golden Plains Shire, Hepburn Shire, Pyrenees Shire and ECKA (Eureka Combined Kindergarten Association). As an educator and mother, Anne feels passionately about the importance of positive musical experiences in early childhood.
To find out more information about Branch into Music:
Phone: 0400 543 020
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