Music for whom?
Music is universal. “It is present among all the peoples of the world”, recalls Maud Vivien, musician, creator of the association Au hollow de l’Oreille. A baby can therefore listen to all music. There are just two small restrictions: “too high a sound level and too aggressive music”believes Maud Vivien.
The music in the mother’s belly
“Music can be discovered from pregnancyin the womb of the mother, specifies Elisabeth Esclattier, teacher of musical awakening and founder of the association 1,2,3… raspberries. The future baby hears it from 6 to 7 months of pregnancy. »
What classical music for babies?
The classical music offers an immense choice of works: Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Chopin, Brahms, Debussy, Wagner, Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Vivaldi, Verdi, Bizet, Camille Saint Saëns… It is therefore not easy to know what to listen to your baby.
Here is the advice of Maud Vivien and Elisabeth Esclattier:
- Select works you like as parents (Mozart, Chopin…). But also jazz, if that’s what the parents prefer.
- Prioritize the best performers.
- Opt for good sound (a good loudspeaker rather than a mobile phone), as classical music needs large variations.
- Avoid unmelodious music where only the rhythm is heard because it is important to develop the beauty of sound in children.
It is possible to discover compilations for children to begin with, then to remain curious in their discoveries! The radio is a good way for parents to discover classical works. There are also dedicated programs specifically for older children where it is possible to draw works for your baby, according to his tastes.
Classical music, mistakes to avoid
“Music being an activity in its own right, it is important not to play music in the background for the toddler all day”warns Maud Vivien.
There are several reasons for this, explains the musician: “On the one hand, a permanent background noise does not calm the baby, his ears not being made to listen to a noise permanently; on the other hand, especially when another activity is proposed, or when parents or siblings speak, this creates a sound escalation. »
When should baby listen to music?
Music is a hobby like any other to which we must devote a well-defined moment. “Between 30 minutes and an hour, advises the creator of the association Au hollow de l’Oreille, if the mother or father and child are in a small, small, attentive group. » And Elisabeth Esclattier to complete: “More than the duration, it is the quality of the exchange that is important. Listening to one or two musical pieces of 3 to 5 minutes is good too! » Then we can sing all day!
If we think about introducing the baby to colours: green grass, blue sky, red poppy, yellow chick… it is not the same with sounds. What a pity ! “To make sounds exist, you have to initiate the toddler by saying ‘you heard the ringing of the telephone, the noise of the garbage truck, of the bell…'”, recommends Maud Vivien. Whether in the city or in the countryside, there are many interesting sounds. “ Putting words on sounds makes it possible to pay more attention to them”, she insists.
Can also take a toddler toconcert. Some are specially adapted for a very young audience and are of short duration: around 50 minutes. “You just have to respect the recommended age and accept that the child only watches the first half hour before, perhaps, falling asleep”, warns Maud Vivien. It is a discovery, a special moment, which releases a lot of emotions.
“Bringing a small child to a concert allows him to discover a different environment, completes Elisabeth Esclattier. He discovers the musicians, the instruments. It is an experience of joy. It may then be interesting, at home, to play back to the child the musical excerpts heard during the concert. It will remind him of happy times. »
You can also enroll the young child in a musical workshop. Some are offered from the age of 9 months. “These workshops allow a discovery of sounds, musical instruments, rhythm and the understanding of musical notions such as pulsation, rhythms, melody, attacks, nuances, intensities through musical practice and listening. musical excerpts »explains the creator of Au hollow de l’Oreille.
Relaxing classical music for babies
To soothe their toddler, parents ask themselves the question of the choice of classical music to make him listen. “Baroque music is soft, soothing, square in its construction, explains Maud Vivien. It brings pleasant sound lines. »
Among the composers, one can choose between Bach, Couperin, Vivaldi, Pachelbel, Lully, Albinoni…
Depending on the time of day, there are also other, more energizing music to listen to a small child. ” Tchaikovsky is a playful composer for children,” believes Maud Vivien. You can also turn to Debussy (The Rag Doll Walk), Offenbach (La Belle Hélène), Camille Saint-Saëns (The Animal Carnival Aviary)…
“We can think of film music, of Michel Legrand, for example”completes the creator of the association Au hollow de l’Oreille.
Classical music lullabies
Present in all countries, lullabies are, however, neglected. Yet they participate in the bedtime ritual and promote sleep. There are many lullabies for the toddler to listen to in the evening: Brahms’ Lullaby, Let the Wind Be Sweet Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, You Are Calm, Sweet Peace by Schubert, Reynaldo Hahn’s Exquisite Hour, Summertime from Gershwin…
These lullabies can be accompanied by the voice of the parents. “Hearing the voice of his parents soothes the little one, explains Maud Vivien. She also represents a sonic and emotional bond with her child. »
“The traditional French repertoire is also interestingbelieves Elisabeth Esclattier. In a nursery rhyme, we find what there is in an opera: an opening, a development, a conclusion. Take the following example: “The little chick pecks. His mom tells him again. His daddy tells him enough. Beware, beware the kitty, Meow,… save yourselves”. »
Classical music for a smart baby? what are the effects on development?
Classical music has indisputable advantages in many areas of early childhood development. Maud Vivien details them.
- It promotes motor development because, in the brain, the ‘center’ of music is connected with the motor center. The fine motor skills is also developed through the manipulation of instruments.
- It develops communicationemotion, empathy and strengthens the parent-child bond.
- It promotes listeninglearning language, then mathematics.
- She develops the concentration, thememory.
- It develops curiosity, imagination, creativity.
Which instruments to discover first?
We can start with the percussion instruments : claves, guiro, tambourine, maracas ” of good quality, specifies the creator of In the hollow of the Ear, not plastic! »
Classical music and the child
Later, if the child wishes to play a musical instrument,“You shouldn’t focus on the piano or the violin, warns Maud Vivien. The instrument is a daily friend, so you have to love it. »
How to help the child to choose the tool which he wants to play? “You can take him to a concert so he can listen to the sounds of the different instruments, see their shapes, explains Maud Vivien. Children will certainly have their preferences, a big instrument with a low sound for some and a small one with a high sound for others. String or wind? »
And to love music, you have to share it!