Experts say that exposing your baby to music early on is critical for development; and as your baby grows, there are many easy and fun ways to introduce and expose them to music, many of which can be found right here on Long Island.
The most simple (and free!) way to expose your baby to music is to sing to them. If you don’t know the lyrics to many songs, browse a children’s book section at a local book store for lullaby or lyric books. Book Revue in Huntington has a wonderfully vast children’s book section with a complete section for musical books. Repetition is very important for young children, so try singing the same few songs every night; eventually your child will learn the lyrics too.
Though your baby may be small, there are a number of music classes which parents and babies can attend together. These classes are not only fun for the child to learn new songs and dances, but offer a special bonding time. During these classes, babies learn songs about body parts, animals, and the people in their life. They are exposed to instruments, and learn new rhythms and beats.
- Long Island Aardvarks offers classes in Bellmore, Great Neck, Port Washington, Roslyn and Rockville Center. Their classes are based around their unique songs, which are influenced by rock, jazz, and pop; babies and parents will be entertained by the innovative music.
- Bach to Rock in Port Washington is a music school for children of all ages which is based upon the premise that children learn music better when they are in groups, instead of independently. Bach to Rock starts classes as early as 6 months old.
- Not Just Art offers a Music Together program in Garden City, Huntington, Manhasset, Oyster Bay and Plainview. Using their unique curriculum and songs, Music Together makes learning rhythm, beats, songs, and instruments joyful and exciting, even for the littlest members. Babies can start Music Together as infants and work their way through the program over the years.
- Don’t forget to check out your local library for baby music classes, as well as bookstores. Once a month Book Revue has local guitarist Jeff Sorg host a toddler music time where babies are encouraged to clap, dance, and sing along! It is a great way to not only expose your baby to music, but meet other members of the community.
Collaborative music is a fantastic way to expose new ears to sounds and instruments; if a parent plays an instrument, buy a smaller version, or toy version for the child to play, as well. By collaborating on music with the family, it helps children learn cooperation, social skills, and patience!
- G. Willikers in Locust Valley has a fantastic assortment of musical toys, including maracas, guitars, and accordions. As your child ages, it is beneficial for their learning to love music to have their instruments grow with them, as they grow.
- Murphy’s Music in Huntington has small body instruments, perfect for smaller hands.
Finally, children love to be entertained by bright lights, sounds, and exciting colors; bring your child to a local concert in the park, a show at a local theater, or even a musical at a more professional theater. By integrating the sights and sounds, children will surely remember their experience.
- The Tilles Center at Long Island University hosts children’s theater, such as Junie B. in Jingle Bells (ages 5+) for the holidays & Jim Henson’s Sid the Science Kid (ages 3+).
- The Patchogue Theater offers children’s musicals year round, such as The Jungle Book, Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, and Mary Poppins. Both parent and child will not only be entertained and enjoy these shows, but by attending such classic pieces of musical theater, it will be a special bonding time for everyone.