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The science behind the Hello Song

Vicky Abad
May 30, 2018

One of the things I love most about making live music with Kids Music Beat families is hearing how my songs and ideas have become a part of their daily rituals and routines at home.

These songs and activities are based on my research, or that of my colleagues in music therapy, music education and music early learning, and I use this research to constantly refine the program and what it offers to you both at music and at home.

In order to enrich your children’s lives with music all of the time, not just when they are at one of our music groups, I write songs and devise activities you and the children can replicate with ease but still carry all the well researched developmental benefits too.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

The Hello Song – ticking all the developmental boxes

Anyone who has been to our Music Early Learning Program knows our Hello Song. I wrote this song many years ago and use it to this day because it ticks all the developmental boxes: social (greetings), emotional (waiting for your turn),  physical (moving to music), cognitive (language, concepts) and of course musical! Let’s talk some more about these.

Your little one’s ability to vocalise develops from birth. This is first seen (after crying) in circular vocal play that can extend to about an octave.

As your baby grows this becomes interactive vocal play and later sing-song like babble, which they use to communicate and engage with you. From a very young age your baby can recognise and respond to familiar songs. They will quietly listen and then begin to bop their whole body along to the music, often while smiling and vocalising.

As your baby grows into a toddler, they will move from vocal blending to more recognisable pitches and contours of songs. They will also stand and move their whole body to the music.

The science and research behind Kids Music Beat songs

Now, this is where it gets really interesting (and a bit technical but bear with me).

Your toddler can pitch match from quite a young age but with a limited range. They also find it easier to sing descending pitches rather than ascending pitches.

That’s why our Hello Song, the first one of the music session, starts with two descending pitches: the major third followed by the perfect fourth, and followed soon after by a major second. These pitches also happen to be developmentally important as they are early building blocks in language development (along with a few others that we incorporate in other songs).

So, the song starts with a descending melody because your child will have the greatest success singing this way. We repeat hello because your child learns through repetition. We then add an ascending perfect fourth interval (to challenge your child and support pitch matching as they grow) before descending again (sandwiching for success).

What this means is we write songs that are not only developmentally appropriate, they also provide support for your child’s natural development as they learn and grow. Meanwhile, you and your child get to share a special bonding time while having fun and expressing yourselves musically – WINNING!

Make music a part of your daily routine

You and your child can take home the songs from our groups and sing them as part of your daily routine.

Our original songs are simple and easy to learn for this reason, and you get peace of mind knowing they are well researched and purposefully written to give little people the very best opportunities to sing and grow.

Many of our songs have ended up embedded in our families lives.

Mum Valda says: I have recently started singing “Hello Oskar” each time he wakes after a sleep. His little eyes light up and he smiles and giggles with delight, which makes my heart go all gooey. Love. Read more

Mum Eileen says she’s now using our Tidy Up song (which we sing when it’s time to put away our instruments) in her home Read more

And here, you can watch the cutest video ever of one little bopper playing and singing the Hello Song at home.

So come along and experience the magic of making live music yourself. We will support you in the musical moment to connect with and take joy in in your child, and we will give you loads of tips and ideas so you can go home and add to your own musical parenting toolkit.

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