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It’s all about the (double) bass

Vicky Abad
March 2, 2016

The benefits of live music making at Boppin’ Babies

I am passionate about providing all children with the opportunity to make music.

Making music together is a strong part of our cultural identity. Traditionally this music was always live, sung by parents to children, played on pianos by grandparents or guitars by dads around BBQs.

Today we have more access to music than ever before, available on iPods, iPhones and CDs (remember those?). And yet, children are experiencing music more passively than ever before, or they dance along to it rather than make it. We believe children should be provided a creative space that supports making music themselves.

This is why all the music at our groups is played live by highly talented musicians. Our people are more than ‘just’ musicians though, they are super talented, dedicated masters qualified music therapists, teachers and performers who do a wonderful job encouraging the children to use their imaginations and to engage musically. We provide a truly child-led experience by following the lead of the children. And we provide the space for live music to come alive.

Today, Dr Robert Davidson, world renowned composer and double bass player of Topology visited our Pre-Prep Rockstars to show them his 200 year old double bass. As well as hearing the beautiful sounds it made, the children each got to play!! An instrument so old and beautiful is just incredible!!

We asked the children what it sounded like and one child said “thunder!” so that shaped the next music game where everyone played either thunder or rain, before leading into a concept game of playing loud or soft, fast and slow. This whole session was led by the children in relation to what they were experiencing and learning in the moment. The children sang along to requests played live on the double bass and guitar. The session finished with Dr Davidson improvising a bass line along to our song book I sang.

This kind of musical immersion is not only developing the little one’s musical brains, it is developing their whole brain. Research shows very clearly that making music increases brain function and changes the way the brain wires over and above listening to music.

Listening to music affects our emotions and is something children should be doing with their parents at home, but making music; especially with their parents is what will help them grow.

I feel very confident saying the children are getting the very highest quality and the best experience when they come to our Boppin’ Babies program.

I trained as an opera singer at the Queensland Conservatorium for my undergraduate degree, before completing post graduate study in music therapy, master’s study in education and now PhD studies in music early learning and family health and wellbeing. Our staff are similarly qualified.

Finally, a word on music education. After making music as bubs, toddlers and pre-schoolers, big boppers can now learn music and continue their music education with Boppin’ Babies. We have expanded to offer this service because we know it supports positive lifelong developmental outcomes, and because music makes for happy kids.

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