Play Right: Music Makes Playtime Fun

New Jammies Whales

Jammin’ out in New Jammies’ Whales!

Soul and R&B icon Aretha Franklin once said, “Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It’s transporting, for sure. It can take you right back, years back, to the very moment certain things happened in your life. It’s uplifting, it’s encouraging, it’s strengthening.”

New Jammies couldn’t agree more.

We see the benefits of music, not only for the mind and spirit, but also for the heart, in kids of all ages. From babies to big kids-at-heart, we’re all affected by music as a simple way to relax, enjoy fun and entertainment, and benefit personally from physical and emotional therapy.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy can make a difference with young children in stimulating all of the senses. by involving the child at many levels. This approach facilitates many developmental skills, promoting quality learning and maximum participation as children experience the joy of play, says the organization.

“The medium of music therapy allows this play to occur naturally and frequently. Music is highly motivating, yet it can also have a calming and relaxing effect,” the AMTA says. “Enjoyable music activities are designed to be success-oriented and make children feel better about themselves.”

The American Music Therapy Association also reports that music therapy can help a child manage pain and stressful situations. Also, music encourages socialization, self-expression, communication, and motor development.

“Because the brain processes music in both hemispheres, music can stimulate cognitive functioning and may be used for remediation of some speech/language skills,” music therapy experts say.

Music TogetherMusic Together is an internationally recognized organization that offers early childhood music and movement programs for children, birth through age 7, to experience with their parents and caregivers. Music Together started in the late ’80s, pioneering the concept of a research-based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music curriculum strongly emphasizing and facilitating adult involvement.

“It’s based on the recognition that, in a supportive environment, children can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat, and confidently participate in the music of their culture,” says Music Together. “By emphasizing actual music-making experiences, we introduce children to the pleasures of producing music instead of passively consuming it from iTunes or TV. We’re very high-touch. Face to face, heart to heart, voice to voice, for a truly bonding and enriching experience.”

New jammies founder Nicole Ludlow has enjoyed her experience at Music Together with her young boys.

“They love it,” she says. “And the music is for kids but I actually like listening to it at home, too.”

To introduce children into the world of music, PBS hosts a plethora of information available on its pbs.org website, on the Music page. Articles range from “Creating a Musical Home Environment,” which offers easy steps to include music in the home and daily routines in meaningful ways, to “The Benefits of Music Education,” showing that learning the do-re-mis can help children excel in ways beyond the basic ABCs.

Music Together cofounder Kenneth Guilmartin contributed to the article, adding that “Making music involves more than the voice or fingers playing an instrument; a child learning about music has to tap into multiple skill sets, often simultaneously. For instance, people use their ears and eyes, as well as large and small muscles.”

“Music learning supports all learning. Not that Mozart makes you smarter, but it’s a very integrating, stimulating pastime or activity,” he added.

For more information on Music Together and classes in your area, click here.
New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Sleep Tight: Music to Soothe Babies to Sleep

Bunny New JammiesThe old saying goes that music makes the world go ’round. At New Jammies, music helps our kids express themselves through movement, sharpen motor skills, and even fall asleep.

According to Kindermusik International, new research has shown that music therapy benefits babies, especially those born premature, in many ways. Kindermusik recently reported on the work of Deanna Hanson-Abromeit, assistant professor of music education and music therapy at the University of Kansas, in learning how music helps premature infants not just survive, but thrive, according to an article from the Kansas Health Institute.

Kindermusik says Hanson-Abromeit’s findings can be helpful for parents of infants, especially those born premature, but also for full-term babies, with these tips:

• Simple is best. Singing a favorite lullaby or children’s song to your little one can be the best kind of therapy you can give.

• Live music is better than recorded music. Premature babies in particular benefit the most from attentive, interactive musical experiences.

• Watch for baby’s cues, or non-verbal communication. For example, breaking eye contact, squirming or arching the back, or wrinkling the forehead are some of the signs from baby that it may be time to try something different.

• It doesn’t always have to stay the same. Changes to the music’s volume and tempo are ways of adapting and adjusting to baby’s cues.Musical experiences have the power to soothe. For a small baby who is often overwhelmed with external stimuli, music can help the brain organize at staying calm.

• Intentional loving experiences with music help the bonding process. There’s something very personal about a shared musical experience, especially one within the arms of loving parent-child connection.

PBS Parents suggests providing a “library of variety” for kids with a mix of genres and styles. In the story, “What Music Should My Child Listen To?” by Laura Lewis Brown, children need to sing, clap and dance along with the tunes in order to get the full benefits of music.

“Singing and moving to music tells the brain to make meaning of it, a cognitive process called audiation,” says the PBS Parents report. “Audiation in music is like thinking in language.”

To build a child’s music library, PBS Parents says to focus on interaction with the music that helps train the young musical ear.

“Remember above all to model your love for music. Sing, hum, dance or air guitar to your favorite songs, even if your child doesn’t like them. It doesn’t matter if you can’t sing in tune or dance well, because you are showing them the joy of music.”

Rockabye BabyRockabye Baby
For music fun for both parents and kids, the Rockabye Baby is a series of rock and pop music transformed into soothing instrumental, baby-friendly lullabies. The rock lullaby series consists of more than 70 releases to date, including lullaby renditions of Bob Marley, U2, The Beatles, Coldplay, and Muse.

“The resulting albums are revolutionary yet reverential,” says the Rockabye Baby website, at http://www.rockabyebabymusic.com. “First and foremost, we’re fans, so we take care to make every album musically interesting enough to satisfy adult listeners. Believe me, making an album that’s gentle enough for sleeping babies but still entertains Mom and Dad is trickier than it sounds.”

In honor of the late David Bowie, Rockabye Baby is releasing renditions of his biggest hits this spring, on April 29. The CD features Bowie songs such as “Heroes,” “Changes,” “China Girl,” “Lets Dance,” “Rebel Rebel,” “Modern Love,” “Young Americans” and more. Fans can listen to clips and pre-order on iTunes here at http://www.rockabyebabymusic.com/david-bowie.html.