I have always known that music is in the bones. As a music teacher for 15 years to babies and toddlers, I’ve seen first hand, the power that music has on the newest of people. But it wasn’t until I became a mom myself that I realized just how much power it had and how integral it is in a baby’s development. Since my daughter’s very first days, I have been fascinated by impact music has had in her life. As an extremely colicky baby she screamed for months on end (literally!), and the only thing that worked was music. Sometimes the soothing songs of Bon Iver, and sometimes the heavy guitars of Silversun Pickups. Whatever the mood, it was always what I turned to in those wee hours of the morning when nothing else worked.
Now, 10 months later, her innate love and joy for music is unmatched. Even more fascinating is her natural instinct to use melody and rhythm to communicate what she cannot say in words. For example: I say “uh oh” when something falls on the floor. While she cannot form those sounds, she clearly immitates my melody and the two beats that it takes to form those words. Right now, her language really is simply music, in addition to the thing that brings out the brightest smiles.
Why end this amazing connection that we all have at birth? Why not hone those instinctive musical tools and embrace the joy? And when words fail us, why not use what we used when we had no words – the language of music? It is so simple, yet something that has passed me by until this year. I always thought we helped shape music, when in fact it is music that helps shape us.
I love now having this in mind when I work with the older children. How, by offering fun music classes at BMF, we are simply nurturing what is already there and has been there for years – an inborn joy and connection to music as part of expression and as part of life.