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From Birth to Beethoven –

why music is crucial for the development of your baby.

By Lynne O’Malley of Rhythm Time


Hooray! The government has finally recognised the importance of music in early years education! They have invested £10 million into the Education system, designed to promote development through music. Kathy Doolan has been seeing the benefits music has on babies for 11 years, since first setting up the hugely successful Rhythm Time in the Midlands. Lynne O’Malley runs Rhythm Time classes in North and West Yorkshire, and explains:


Babies are innately musical. They can absorb sounds from the moment they are born, and even before! It has been proven that music establishes connections in all areas of the brain, developing skills crucial to language development, helping them to internalise rhythm, pattern and rhyme. Music is beneficial to memory, concentration and recall, and also improving emotional, personal and social skills. Beat awareness (being able to feel a constant beat or pulse) will give children a head-start when they go to school, helping them to bounce a ball, use scissors, and read. Of course, music also has the added benefits of mood-enhancing, and it is absolutely delightful to see children responding positively to music by clapping,  giggling, dancing, relaxing.


So what happens in a baby music class? At Rhythm Time, the classes begin as young as 2 months, since this is when they are at their most receptive.They are introduced to music at three levels: emotional, intellectual and physical. It is also very important for the parent to be  personally involved, therefore Rhythm Time classes are aimed at the parent as well as the child so that they can enjoy the experience of making music together.


A typical class will include dancing, jumping, rocking and moving expressively to encourage balance and coordination, lots of finger rhymes to help with fine motor development and awareness of the body. Parents are encouraged to sing to and with their child, and we have a vast repertoire of songs and rhymes, to help with speech development, a sense of beat awareness and pitch. We use high quality percussion instruments, and encourage the children to explore these by touching, listening, playing and sharing. Other materials such as balls, scarves and hoops may be used during the lessons to help with hand-eye coordination.


Once the children reach the age of three, they are introduced to more musical elements and notation, in a fun and interactive way. This is excellent grounding for learning an instrument when they start school.


So next time your baby picks up a bunch of keys to jangle, think of how this is the beginning of the makings of a happy, healthy, musically intelligent child.


You can find out more about Rhythm Time classes in the Harrogate, Knaresborough or Otley area by contacting Lynne on: 07789 895894, or check out the website: where you will find classes all over the UK.

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