Once in a while someone will ask me how old babies should be before they begin Music Together® classes. The answer I always give them is old enough that YOU feel comfortable bringing them to a social situation. The fact is babies have begun learning "music" long before they are born. Around 4 months gestation, the auditory system of baby in utero is developed and they are taking in and beginning to process sounds. All sorts of sounds! While they are hearing those sounds through their watery world, they ARE hearing them.
When a baby is born and it's mother says "hello! I'm so glad you're here!" that baby will turn to look - they recognize that voice! They have been hearing the ebb and flow of their mother's voice from the beginning and they are comforted by the familiarity. When a mother has been singing through pregnancy, baby will soothe to familiar songs ~ they think to themselves "I know that voice!"
Another way to think about it is that we don't wait until a child is ready to talk, to talk to them. We talk to them from before birth. In fact, it's how they will learn how to speak their native language - they are immersed in it! If a child isn't speaking words and beginning to form sentences by certain ages, we get concerned and begin to intervene to make sure that language development is being properly supported. Could you imagine if we did the same for music development?? Instead of saying we'll do music when my child is ready, we simply made music all along, immersing children in the language of music, how many more of us would be comfortable music makers?
We are born sounders and movers! We are born with the capacity to be musical in the same way we are born with the capacity to talk and to walk and to move. When that capacity, or aptitude, for anything isn't support, it drops off! Children who aren't spoken to, don't learn to speak. Imagine if all children were supported in their musical development the way they are support in their language development?
Music is a birthright. Being musical is something unique to humans and we all have the capacity to participate in the music of our culture in some way. Why would you wait to introduce your baby to the world of music for even a moment?
The answer to the question at the beginning of this post is that as soon as you are ready to bring your baby out into the world, they are ready to become a part of a Music Together class ~ what a wonderful community to introduce your child to as they begin to grow and learn!