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The benefits of music and movement for babies and toddlers

Dr Fiona Jones
February 8, 2017

Music and movement is a wonderful way to nurture your child’s development in a supportive, flexible and playful environment.

Some of the most important milestones for babies and toddlers centre around language, sensory and motor development.

The benefits of combined music and movement

A combined music and movement approach allows you to have fun together while supporting your child to develop confidence as they learn new skills.

Learning together with your child helps to strength your relationship through sharing those ‘light up moments’ when they master a new skill with your support, and means you can repeat the activities at home with confidence.

The rhythm of the music can help your child with planning and coordinating movements:

  • Linking music to the movements helps to encourage your child’s participation and attention to the world around them.
  • Moving to music helps children move together as a group so they notice their social world too
  • Moving to music activates the motor system making it natural for children to
  • Moving to music engages many different regions of the brain all at once
  • Music and movement combines listening, looking and moving, all skills that are needed to support learning as children grow and develop
  • The combination of music and movement is fun and motivating for your child and encourages learning in a playful approach

Music and Movement for babies

Bouncing Ball music and movement

During the first year of your baby’s life they grow and learn so much. Babies can learn through exploring their environment.

Music and movement provides a safe and secure place for your baby to do this.

Our Occupational therapists understand the rapid development that can occur in that first few months of your child’s life and the importance of creating playful and enjoyable opportunities to help them achieve their milestones.

We will support you to explore with your baby music and movement and other sensory experiences in multi-modal ways that will engage and support their development rather than overwhelm them.

Music and Movement for Pre Kindergarten

Boy playing

A child’s first stepping stone in the school system is Kindergarten.

The music and movement program is focused around facilitating the development of your child’s fine and gross motor skills.  No matter their age or ability, the program will help to increase their confidence and participation as they take their next learning step.

This includes using both hands together for threading, cutting and colouring or the strength and coordination for playing with balls, swimming, climbing, skipping or sitting at a desk.

We achieve this by moving in coordinated ways to music and through music to develop a range of physical skills.

The program will help them learn about spatial awareness, balance, develop bi-lateral and cross lateral skills, pincer grip and core strength, all important for pre-academic success.

Moving to music helps children integrate their senses and emotions. We play games where they have to wait for a musical cue to participate and this helps them also increase their ability to control impulse and thus regulate.

Dr Fiona Jones is an Occupational Therapist with a special interest in supporting children to reach their developmental potential, and have a joyful and fulfilling childhood. She is Director and Senior Occupational Therapist at OCC Therapy.


About Music Beat Therapy Services

Music Beat Therapy Services provides clinical music therapy and creative arts for children and adults with additional needs.

It offers mobile therapy services in Brisbane and surrounding areas in the areas of early childhood development, disability and rehabilitation.

Music therapy is a fun and beneficial therapeutic intervention comprising singing, instrumental play, movement, sensory play and relaxation to music to encourage your child’s development.

The focus is on sensory integration and emotional regulation, communication, and social skills, along with encouraging your child’s general development through musical play.

Music Beat Therapy Services is a HCWA (Helping Children With Autism) approved provider and a registered service provider for NDIS participants.

For more information or bookings contact Kate Fletcher on 0426 824 979 or email therapy@musicbeat.com.au

About O.C.C Therapy

At O.C.C Therapy, we are passionate about supporting children to reach their potential.

We love creating opportunities for children to shine and maximise their ability to live, learn and play no matter their age or abilities.

Our OT’s use a family and child centered approach to assist families to understand why their child might not be reaching their potential and then focus on putting in place practical steps to allow them to grow and learn and have a joyful and fulfilling childhood.

At O.C.C Therapy we believe that all children have the right to feel confident, happy and valued and our goal is to enable children to successfully participate in all that life has to offer.

For more information visit www.occtherapy.com.au or check them out on Facebook.

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