When Owen was a year old, I took him to a free trial Kindermusik class through The Musik Nest in Issaquah. I had been sampling other programs like The Little Gym and Gymboree and nothing seemed to really click with my son. I was assuming music class would be the same.
I was very impressed that the class was so much more than just music. There was a lot of singing, but also dancing, activities for hand-eye coordination, exploration, baby massage, and snuggle time. Owen was very engaged the whole time and really responded to the teacher. And the carpet had a lot of padding, making it one of the few places where it’s actually comfortable to sit on the floor. After the trial class, we immediately signed up for the session.
Part of music class involves story time. Owen learned how to sit quietly on the blanket, listen to the story, and then help put the blanket away. The same story is read every week and it’s been amazing to hear him saying the words along with his teacher, responding to her questions, and simply staying focused for a few minutes.
He’s been going for a year and a half now and I definitely attribute some of his developmental growth to the class. He is able to pick up the lyrics to songs very quickly, he’s confident, he has great communication skills, he follows directions and he’s able to make decisions for himself. He’s also very interested in counting and patterns and he has a strong memory.
What I’ve noticed fits right in with a recent study from the University of Washington about the effects of music on the brains of babies. The study found a strong correlation between experiencing rhythmic musical patterns and processing rhythmic patterns in speech. Being able to detect and predict patterns in speech helps babies learn to speak themselves.
It’s also been great to carve out 50 minutes of uninterrupted time for us to bond. I’m not tempted to check my phone. We learn new songs and bounces together that we are able to do on our own at home. The Musik Nest is also located across from The Issaquah Coffee Company, where they have a train table, so we usually end up over there with other moms and toddlers before or after class.