Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Reading & Singing To Babies Gives Them A Jump Start As Readers

This is Lydia.  

She loves books.  She is learning how to read.  Her mom and dad expose her to wonderful books and read to her every chance they get. 

They are giving her the special gift of developing a lifelong love of reading through this exposure, excitement and interaction with books. 
This is Reese...Lydia's dad.

He was one of my students at Van Meter several years ago.

When they sent me this picture it made me so happy.  We sent several Cantata Learning books to them last week.  You can see the excitement and love shared as they read in this picture.
This is Jessica...Lydia's mom.  She was also one of my students.
And a friend.

She is a special education teacher and the Cantata Learning books and music will be a perfect fit for her classroom and students.

But first, she tried them out with Lydia.

Not only was Lydia hooked by the stories and songs, Jessica and Reese were as well because they know the importance of reading and singing traditional nursery rhymes and melodies to their baby.
In the article Singing To Children May Help Development of Language Skills from The Guardian, the book The Genius of Natural Childhood, by Sally Goddard Blythe, is discussed.

In Blythe's research and within her book she states,

"Singing traditional lullabies and nursery rhymes to babies and infants before they learn to speak, is 'an essential precursor to later educational success and emotional wellbeing'. Song is a special type of speech.  Lullabies, songs and rhymes of every culture carry the signature melodies and inflections of a mother tongue, preparing a child's ear, voice and brain for language."
As babies and infants listen and sing along with songs and rhymes, both sides of their brain are developing.  This will prepare them for learning as they enter preschool and grade school.

You can see the influence that music has on learning in this infographic of the brain Cantata Learning developed.  The effect music has on reading is obvious.  There is no question of the importance.

Daniel Dwase, editor of the online Child Development Guide, also supports the importance nursery rhymes set to music can support a child's development.

"Music assists in the development of a child's speech," he said. "Singing nursery rhymes and simple songs teach children how language is constructed and assists with the acquisition of language.  

Singing songs with your child will also teach them about tone, beat and rhyme.  Even better than just singing, though, is to teach songs with actions and encourage your child to dance along to the music, they will learn balance, co-ordination, body awareness and rhythm."  
Cantata Learning has over 30 traditional nursery rhymes which include engaging, brightly colored illustrations, fun stories and beautiful music with each.

They are perfect for bringing these important elements to infants, babies and their families at home and within the daycares they may attend.
The music is included on the CD in the back of the book, but is also available online free at

Jessica told me that Lydia just loves listening to all of the nursery rhymes, especially as her mom and dad sing along.  She claps her hands, smiles and is obviously enjoying this very special learning experience with her family.

It is one of the sweetest bonds I had with my three children and I enjoyed every minute of developing those skills as I read, sang and danced with them.
Lydia is a blessed little girl.  Her parents know the importance of creating rich reading experiences and surrounding her with wonderful books and music.  

She will gain the skills that she needs as her reading and learning skills form.  

And best of all....Lydia will develop a lifelong love of reading.  One that she will share with her mom and dad for years to come.  

Singing to children may help development of language skills. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Guardian website:  http://www.theguardian/lifeandstyle/2011/may/08/singing-children-development-language-skills

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