Generally from around 3 months plus. As they progress, older babies can graduate to a toddler music class involving more action and physical activity.
What your child will do
Baby music classes offer an excellent introduction to music and singing for your baby. It’s an early way for you to communicate with him, as you will be encouraged to sing along and help your baby to make music.
A welcome/hello song is usually included at the start of a class, which builds familiarity. Songs that include all the names of the babies at the class are also good for building relationships between the babies. Classes are often structured to build on a baby’s ability to respond to music. A typical class may have set times for active listening, gentle movement and musical participation by singing or playing a baby safe musical instrument.
Most classes are aimed at a particular age range. Some classes follow a structured plan delivered over several weeks with the aim of achieving certain goals by the end of the course. This can include learning about colours, opposites and animals. Props and instruments are usually provided and will help to keep your baby entertained. Stories that have an emphasis on singing and musical interpretations might also be used.
You’ll play an active role in helping your child to learn to play their baby-friendly percussion instrument or by gently bouncing or jigging them to the beat of a piece of music or rhyme. However, classes are usually pretty relaxed and you and your baby can join in as much or as little as circumstances allow.
You may also find baby music classes where the instructor plays live musical instruments and different musical styles are introduced. This can be a fascinating way for your baby to become aware of how music is created and the role of instruments in creating sound.
A good baby music class will endeavour to keep you and your baby entertained for the duration of the class even if he is not yet mobile.
How will your baby benefit
Your baby will begin to learn about music and how it can be used to communicate. You can take the music, rhymes and stories away from the class setting and enjoy them with your baby at home. Also, singing to your baby is more likely to encourage him to respond back by gurgling, cooing, making facial expressions and physical reactions (for example, a moving hand or leg). If your baby attends regular classes you will soon find that he starts to recognise certain songs and rhymes as firm favourites.
Learning to handle and play his instrument of choice is a great way for your baby to develop his fine motor skills and eye to hand co-ordination.
Companies such as Jo Jingles and Monkey Music offer baby music classes across the UK. There are also many other local providers offering baby music classes.
Between £4 to £10 per class depending on your location. Some classes, such as those at your local library or Children’s Centre, may cost very littlem or be free.