Music’s Role in Forming Motor, Communication and Cognitive Skills
In case you missed our first post, Metro Music Makers has been partnering with Moms on Call, who brings valuable resources to new parents all over the world. In the second blog of our partnership with Moms on Call, MMM music therapist Kristen Van Dyke focused on the age range of 6 to 15 months. At this age, babies really begin to purposefully interact more with their caregivers and have an increased awareness of the world around them. There are so many motor, communication and cognitive skills forming during this time, and music can play a fun role in cultivating these skills. Examples of these skills include the following: clapping, waving, language development, crawling, walking, etc.
Kristen shares some personal experiences of her son during this formative time, in addition to ideas about incorporating music into daily life with a 6- to 15-month-old to address these skills. Parents can model movements with songs, introduce small handheld instruments, guide their children hand-over-hand with movements, and choose songs that have repetitive language and a predictable nature.
Three Original Songs Available Now!
Along with Kristen, Metro Music Makers team members J.T. Lee, Mark Grundhoefer and Allison Jarrell worked together to write and produce three original songs for this age group. The first two, “Bluesy Hello” and “Find It,” were created to practice these specific motor, communication and cognitive skills that are being developed in children 6 to 15 months old. “Bluesy Hello” provides opportunities for stomping, clapping and waving to various people or objects in the baby’s world. “Find It” encourages the important skill of pointing and object identification.
Music as a Transitional Tool
In addition to working on these important skills, music can also play a very important role in cueing and transitioning between daily activities. Songs can help to provide a timer (e.g., when the music stops, all the toys should be put away), reinforce steps of a certain activity (e.g., cleaning up, washing hands and sitting in the chair before a meal), reinforce language, and provide structure that children’s brains naturally crave. The third original song, “Oh Baby! Guess What?” is an example of a song that can cue up an activity—in this case, meal time!
Be sure to check out Moms on Call for the full blog and the original songs that are available for streaming on all digital music platforms here.
Check out the video below for a demonstration of how to use the original songs created by the Metro Music Makers team for this age group.