Baby Rhythms™ music program for infants, toddlers and young children designed to awaken perception of world rhythms and boost early communication skills. Research shows that playing music improves brain function from an early age and strengthens skills that are important for learning. Music is not only fun for children of all ages, but has brain benefits that can last a lifetime.
Baby Rhythms™ and music neurophysiology research from Nina Kraus (Dr. Musacchia's alma-mater laboratory) was featured on Italian National television (RAI UNO) on a science digest program called Superquark (like the U.S. Nova). Here they discuss the benefits of music training on speech understanding and reading skills. Part way through the video, you see a live Baby Rhythms class at the 92 street Y in New York City and Dr. Musacchia explain her research.
JOINT ATTENTION - THE INTERACTIVE TRIANGLE
Almost all of our activities encourage music play by using “interactive triangle” in which the three sides of the triangle are 1) you, 2) your child and 3) a music instrument or activity. The interactive triangle, also called “joint attention” facilitates quick learning and is often cited as one of the most powerful forms early learning. In the Baby Rhythms music classes, we lead by example, using the attention triangle to teach infants, toddlers and young children to play with the instruments and use them in rhythm with the music.
As seen above, our music classes for infants and children involve age-appropriate activities paired with rhythmically complex songs from different cultures around the world. Our Little Listeners class is for infants ages 4 to 10 months and focuses on exploration and group experience. Big Players is for toddlers ages 18-24 months and focuses on co-ordinated dance and more advanced rhythm skills. In the final age group, Music Makers (ages 2-3.5 years) gain experience with real instruments, turn taking in a mock "band practice" and alternating hand drumming. All classes include learning to play musical bells, rattles, shakers, and for the older children, exposure to the violin, guitar, and wind instruments. Some sample activities include:
~Bouncing to complex rhythms
~Hand drumming with alternating hand motions
~Dancing with scarves and ribbons
~Walking, hopping, and coordinated group dance
~"Band Practice" with guitars, violins and flutes (Big Players and Music Maker classes only)
Our music is fun for the adults to listen to as well, and includes Balinese Gamelan music, African rhythms, Bulgarian and Caribbean songs (see Our Story for more information). Many of these songs involve complex, nested rhythms such as 7/8 time meter, that stimulate complex brain activity.