HERE ARE THREE VERY SIMPLE MUSIC ACTIVITIES to do with your infant, gleaned from Sound Choices, Guiding Your Child’s Musical Experiences, by Wilma Machover and Marienne Uszler, Oxford University Press, 1996.
Imitate your child’s first sound, whether it is a cooing sound, a sung pitch, or the first attempts at speech. The fact that the child is the leader in this encourages further experimenting on the child’s part. You will be tuning into the child’s vocal range, rather than expecting the child to take your much broader range.
Sing as you go
Make up your own simple songs as you dress or bathe your child or as you walk or march or run together. You may have a range of only one note, but the fact that you sometimes chant or rap or sing about a familiar activity as you are doing it, leads to early childhood creativity. Soon your child will begin to chant or rap or sing, perhaps his name or yours or the cat’s. Homemade songs can become part of your child’s memory bank. Try putting some of these first sound experiments on tape. You’ll be glad you did.
Mindy says: I saw the baby in the picture, remembered the of the melody of “The Wheels on the Bus,” and wanted to sing “This is the way mama kisses your tummy, kisses your tummy, kisses your tummy….” or rap, “Mama’s gonna change your dia-per, mama’s gonna change your dia-per, mama’s gonna change your dia-per and get you all clean! Hooray!”
Be sure that the music toys you buy (or receive) for your infant or young child are truly musical. Select beautiful-sounding ethnic drums, bells, and chimes–music toys made with thought to safety and sound. No matter how well approved the toys are for safety, be sure the sound is appealing, not brash or tinny.