We have been thinking about rhythm this week!

From our mother’s heartbeat in the womb, to the rhythm of our feet, the rain,
& our languages, rhythm is a fundamental element of how we experience our world.

Although it is innate within us, exposure is key to cultivating rhythmic skills
which are important, not just for future musical endeavors, but for creating
critical connections in the brain associated with speech, as well as a more
“global effect on cognitive skills”. Studies have shown that there is a short
window in infancy, during which it is much easier to acquire these skills.
Rhythm is a big focus in Ladybug Music classes and something that easily
translates outside of the classroom.

Here are some things you can do at home
to encourage rhythmic literacy in your little ones:

  • Dance with your babies held close to your body. They will feel the
    rhythm through your own swaying.
  • Lightly keep the beat by tapping on your child’s bodies. This can
    be done while gently rocking your little one, or by playfully tapping
    out rhythms as a sort of game (toddlers in particular love this). “On
    your toes! On your shoulder! On your head!”
  • Introduce music with ‘odd’ time signatures. If you turn on the radio
    (do people still do that?) chances are, the song playing will be in 4/4 –
    The majority of western music is written in 4/4 time. So actively seek
    out songs in 7/8 or 5/4… music from other cultures is a great place to
    start, but you can find songs by pop bands like Pink Floyd in 7/8,  Radiohead in 5/4, and, of
    course Ladybug Music in 7/8 (among many others) that you can both enjoy
    listening to.
  • Keep a variety of percussion instruments. Percussion instruments
    have such variety in their shapes, sounds, and methods of playing.
    Egg shakers, rhythm sticks, tambourines, & castanets, can all be found
    inexpensively. Put on some music, break out the instruments, and
    have a jam right at home.
  • Practice small movement songs. Small movement songs are great,
    not only for coordination and fine motor skills, but also for
    experiencing rhythm through movements.

Have fun!
Ladybug Music