Even from a very young age I’ve felt that NKOTB reacted to music. Her favourite toys are her maracas (the best $6.50 I’ve spent on her) and she’s noticeably enjoyed the few baby-specific musical performances we’ve attended, such as Mini Maestros Classical Babes, ArtPlay Bubs and This [Baby] Life.

Just this week though she’s actively been moving to music, whether it’s on the speakers or me singing to her. Maybe it’s a baby thing, maybe it’s a specifically NKOTB thing, but it’s quite cute. The music starts, she gets this intensely serious look on her face and then her body seems to start involuntarily rocking to the beat as if the rhythm has possessed her. She then continues about her business (crawling, wacking, gnawing), but still rocking back and forth on her bottom or flapping her arms up and down in time.

I tend to put on classical music when I’m with her (as it’s soothing and it helps me think) while Tim favours contemporary stuff. For our own sanity so far we’ve generally avoided ‘kids’ music (though I’m sure the time for Wiggles will come) with the only concession being a Chinese sing-song/nursery rhyme CD from my parents which is good for teaching me and NKOTB traditional Chinese songs.

I’ve also resolved to introduce NKOTB to the piano more frequently. After many years and many headaches, my childhood piano and I have finally been reunited. While my fingers are stiff and unsure now I want to teach NKOTB the basics of musical theory as well as an appreciation for the instrument. There’s lot of research indicating that musical training helps with other cognitive and developmental skills in kids too.

Finally, I’m excited about MusicPlay, a children’s music festival being held at the Melbourne Recital Centre from 18-22 January. I’ve booked NKOTB into all the sessions which are suitable for her age, the Classical Babes series, and look forward to sharing her enjoyment with her.

What do you do to encourage your child to love music?

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