The Basic Idea
When we learn to speak, we’re learning a lot of musical skills – and vice versa! When we engage in a musical call and response or conversation – even if it’s nonsense – we’re teaching babies how language and speech works.
Over to You, Wee One
For wee ones who are babbling, respond with your own sounds, then pause, and wait for them to babble again. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t even have to be words: it’s all about the to and fro. You can use a drum instead: respond to the beats they tap out by copying them.
- Helps wee ones link language to communication
- Give wee ones, especially pre or non-verbal, a sense of agency
- Rhythm builds foundational skills in literacy (syllables), and numeracy (patterns)
- If you wee one enjoys getting a few notes from a musical instrument, try playing those same notes back, then waiting for another response
- Singing words, humming tunes, making noises are all valid ways to engage in a musical chat
No one is expecting you to be Beyoncé! Your singing voice or rhythm doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s about opening up communication. Often the reason we feel self conscious about our musical skills is because of adults from when we were wee. So model confidence and fake it until you make it!