Current trends in early childhood music edication

How music education benifits the brain


Bobby McFerrin | World Science Festival


Why your childs first 1000 days matters

Gabby Holden, the Head of Early Learning Service Development at Uniting, shares why the first few years are so vital for development and learning. When it comes to the long-term health and wellbeing of a child, the first 1000 days are essential. The experiences a child has in their first years are crucial to how their brain develops, which can affect their entire life. In my profession, we speak with parents daily – carefully shaping programs to ensure their child has the best possible start, and laying the foundations for their brightest future. Every parent wants their child to begin school with self-assurance and the ability to build knowledge through a range of learning approaches. To enable this, the formative years of brain development are critical – they are a window of opportunity, rich in physical, intellectual and emotional growth. How can you ensure your child's first 1000 days are enabling them to prosper? Here are some ways to fuel your child's development and learning. read more

BBC Child Development Chart

    Before Birth

    A baby in the womb can hear sounds from 20 weeks after conception

    0 - 18 Months

    1. From conception to eighteen months your baby is developing rapidly and its response to musical activity will not only be rewarding but highly beneficial to his or her general development
    2. At birth babies can hear high-pitched noises, may be calmed by lower sounds and can locate sound in front of them. They will be startled by a loud or sudden sound
    3. By four weeks they prefer high-pitched sounds and start to respond to the sound of your voice. They will recognise whether sound is coming from behind or in front
    4. From three months they may respond actively to music by, for example, swaying and turning towards the sound and vocalising vowel sounds like "Aaah", "Eee" and "Ooo"
    5. At 20 weeks they begin to recognise familiar voices and respond differently to the sound of strange voices
    6. By six months they start imitating sounds e.g. Boo! La!
    7. At 28 weeks they will look towards sounds from above and below and tell tunes apart
    8. By nine months they respond to familiar songs
    9. Their singing may follow a familiar melodic pattern
    10. From one year they will begin to lose the capacity to hear high-pitched sounds but start to discover musical pulse, and create sounds by banging everyday objects
    11. Some babies say their first words as early as eight months. Many begin to talk around eighteen months and some take a little longer. Singing with your baby could speed up this process.

    18 months - 3 years

    1. By eighteen months your baby may start to respond to music in a coordinated way
    2. Language skills can develop further through singing and imitation
    3. Moving and responding to music can help develop memory and hand/eye coordination
    4. They will learn to distinguish between loud and quiet, fast and slow
    5. They begin to be aware of a beat in the music and recognise different rhythms
    6. They will learn the words to simple songs and develop the coordination needed to play simple instruments i.e. simple drums or bells
    7. This is when they begin to find out how to cooperate with other children

    3 - 5 Years
    1. Your child may begin to become more aware of pitch and rhythm
    2. They will learn to sing more complex songs as language skills grow and their vocal chords develop
    3. They can cope with more sophisticated movement to music
    4. They will take pleasure in playing and exploring new sounds and instruments
    5 - 7 Years
    1. Your child will acquire new vocal strengths and increase their range
    2. They will develop a better memory of music though repetition of songs and patterns and an understanding of simple musical concepts
    3. They will be able to play simple percussion instruments and, given the opportunity, will be able to pick out tunes on instruments such as keyboards or xylophones
    4. Some may develop a passion for pop music now, though some start earlier
    5. This is a crucial age for encouragement as many children especially boys stop singing naturally and are often reluctant to persevere with playing a musical instrument

Bottle Music

  • A great way to have fun on a hot summer's day is to play with bottles and water to produce varying sounds
  • If you play indoors you may want to play on a plastic sheet
  • Find three or four empty glass bottles, e.g. milk bottles
  • Fill each bottle with a different amount of water
  • Let your child hit the rim of the bottles with a desert spoon or similar, while you supervise
  • You will both notice that the more you fill the bottle, the lower the sound!
  • Play each in turn and you may get an interesting 'tune'