Dr. Musacchia is not currently conducting in-home or community center classes. See below for tips on continuing to play music with your children in this unprecedented time!
Finding syncopated music from traditional sources and playing along with the rhythm.
Indonesian gamelan is a great place to start, or songs from your own heritage, like African or Hebrew songs. This ties into a deeper meaning. Again, 5 minutes - just one song - is all it takes to get that dopamine going and synchronize your brains.
Dr. Musacchia's latest research with co-author Dr. Alex Khalil is starting to show that playing music together actually synchronizes activity between the two brains for some time after you play music. So it might be that playing music can help “harmonize” the household as well. Below are some recommended instruments for simple play at any age.
"There weren't any music programs that could give my son the variance of rhythm that is so important for brain development. Other programs use songs that are way too simple for the amazing baby brain. They have the children watch, listen to music, or at most clapping. To get maximum brain benefits the baby needs to PLAY!"
- Gabriella Musacchia Ph.D., mom and creator of Baby Rhythms
Many cultures can have thier own language, rhythms, instruments, dances, and songs. We can learn any language of the world at birth and the more languages we hear, the more languages we can speak. It is the same with music! The more types of rhythms we play with our children, the more types of music they will learn to understand and play.
Baby Rhythms is the only early music program with complex rhythms and traditional music of different cultures. Each song covers a different meter, tempo, instrument and language to match the amazing potential of the baby brain.
Baby Rhythms incorporates cutting-edge neuroscience into classes with
COMPLEX RHYTHMS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE
SMALL MUSIC CLASS SIZE FOR MAXIMUM INVOLVEMENT
AGE-APPROPRIATE MOTOR SKILL ACTIVITIES
In 2020, most of us and especially our kids are missing music in our lives in three areas
Band class/Private Instruction
Playing music together
Advocate for remote music education if your school already had it in the curriculum! Playing music is NOT like riding a bicycle where you remember how to do it without riding for a time. Studies show that kids who play music do better in reading and memory tasks and with shelter in place, our kids brains need all the advantages they can get. If your school does not have music education, encourage your administrators to consider it or contact the Save the Music Foundation for Title IX schools.
Playing together adn seeing live music are powerful music experiences, both from a neuroscience and social science perspective. Replicate that experience by playing music at home together! Research shows that it doesn’t matter how well you play music – you don’t have to be a maestro to get the brain benefits of playing music – all that matters is that you are playing. For little ones, parents can hold their babies on an exercise ball and bounce to a favorite song that is super fun. To increase music exposure, the parent can have a child-safe instrument to play along with the rhythm. Even a spoon or pot can work
It doesn’t need to be fancy to be fun!
With toddlers, parents can do the same, but have the toddler also playing the child-safe instrument. This age is great for a gathering drum where parents and child can play on the same drumhead. With older kids, parents can put on their favorite music and keep the beat or dance with their kids.
1. Floor Drum
A drum is the most important music instrument for children. Drums that sit on the floor and can be hit by the hand are great for infant and toddlers to learn how to play. Remo Kid's Percussion series
are rugged and will stand up to any damage a toddler can throw at (or on) it.
A tambourine is the a great first percussion instrument for classes or home becasue it is a drum AND a bell. Find one that is easy for little fingers to grip, easy to clean and sturdy. eye-catching colors are a plus.
3. Jingle Bell
A hand held or wristlet Jingle Bell is fun, sturdy and great for learning early "cause and effect" of hand grip and arm movement. Also perfect for teething babies.
4. Egg Shakers or maracas
A must-have. Simply the easiest instrument for babies and toddlers to grasp and play. Fun in groups, no rough edges for little boo-boos and easy to clean.