Sleep Tight: Music to Soothe Babies to Sleep
The 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.”
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.