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Our musical journey through parenthood and early childhood

Megan Murray
February 7, 2019

In this blog, Music Beat Group Leader Miss Megan shares her journey to becoming a musical parent.

When your toddler loves to sing, no task can be accomplished without song

Whenever our toddler sees a shark, whether it be a shark at the aquarium or a dolphin sticker that looks like it could be a shark, we can hear him singing ‘that’ shark song.

Arthur Shark Song01_Web

I love that this action song can be used to support my child’s development through providing opportunities for him to improve his hand eye coordination, pincer grip, fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Not to mention language skills and concept comprehension.

From the perspective of a sleep-deprived mother, this song is an earworm that has us counting the shark family in our head when we desperately just want to drift off to sleep! And even at our music group this song creeps in during the special request times. You all know how it goes…

When your child loves to sing, it doesn’t stop there

But seriously, almost every situation, book or action seems to have a song attached. Whenever we see a duck or a dog, my son bursts into ‘Five Little Ducks’ or ‘Old MacDonald’ or ‘Baby Duck’.

If he is in a good or average mood he will cheerfully sing ‘pack away’ while putting his toys away. If he wants another child’s toys, he sings pack away to encourage them to put the toy away so that he can play with them.

Singing is embedded into every part of our lives

We improvise songs about all sorts of things. We sing “build it up higher” while playing with blocks.

Whether we are at home or in public, singing is used as a tool of distraction, entertainment and learning.

When learning to potty train he happily makes up his own “potty songs” to the tune of twinkle twinkle or wheels on the bus. Every action or activity in the day can be accompanied with music.

We seem to live by the motto: why say it when you can sing it.

Music was my refuge throughout my transition to parenthood

While sharing music with my toddler is fun and feels second nature to me now, this wasn’t always the case.

I can still remember a time that these interactions felt unnatural and somewhat forced. My parenting journey with music began in a moment of desperation when my newborn refused to sleep.

In my sleep-deprived state I sang lullabies and when my voice was exhausted or hoarse I would play recorded music.

On one occasion, I found a piece that he loved and fell asleep while listening to it. This became our only sleep routine later when he started daycare was his ‘comfort item’.

baby-sleep-tips

When I was sleep deprived and exhausted, the sounds of this song comforted me as well as my child. As a bonus, it helped us both wind down for sleep.

Read our blog on 5 tips for a peaceful night’s sleep

These days, I sing with my son and also many other children at Music Beat. I find singing and music so useful I wanted to share this with more so joined the Music Beat team as a Group Facilitator. You can find me at Brisbane City Council groups and MELPs.

You might even hear me singing a certain song about Baby Sharks!

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