Why introduce music to babies and toddlers?

Why introduce music to babies and toddlers?

importance of music to babies and toddlers

Why introduce music to babies and toddlers?

WORDS: Julia Rennick, Early Childhood Music & Movement Teacher, NMTMP Mentor

The first 3 years of life are a time of tremendous growth, development and change. These changes aren’t just cognitive and physical, but social and emotional as well.

Very young children are fascinated by music and sounds. Musical activities contribute to children’s total development and they grow musically when they’re allowed to take risks and not feel pressured to perform.

importance music to babies

Birth – 9 months

From birth to 9 months, babies listen attentively to musical sounds; they’re calmed by familiar human voices. Vocalisation begins as he or she imitates what they hear. Reading to your baby before bed and/or singing them a lullaby enhances the connection between parents and child. Rocking your baby whilst singing to them deepens the bond and connection and helps them relax, gives a sense of security, comfort, all of which researchers believe leads to better sleeping and feeding.

Lullabies exist in most cultures and have been sung for hundreds of years. Any song or piece of music that is repetitive, simple and soothing can be sung. Some parents have told me that they’ve chosen an upbeat piece of music that they liked and slowed right down to use instead of a traditional lullaby. I liked to sing the Skye Boat Song when our children were little; whatever works for you is fine – just give it a try if you haven’t already. Maybe you can recall a song that was sung to you when you were very young? Remember: babies and toddlers will not judge your singing voices!

toddlers and music

From 9 months – 2 years

From 9 months to 2 years toddlers respond to music with clear repetitive movements. They are interested in every kind of sound and may begin to approximate pitches. They are mostly attracted to music that is strongly rhythmic.

Babies and toddlers need to experience many opportunities to play with music and sounds freely and also in more structured ways. Don’t expect polished or accurate musical responses as outcomes. Understanding this means that we can make music play and activities an important and enjoyable part of toddlers’ learning and discovery.


Children can be introduced to simple music experiences through songs, finger plays, knee bouncing, games, movement, folk dances and sound exploration, for example simple percussion instruments. Young children love and need lots of repetition, so sing songs they know then add something new.

Lay out some instruments for them to explore – if you don’t have any, perhaps borrow from a local toy library – or use pots and pans from the kitchen with wooden spoons. Make shakers (maracas) by filling small sealable boxes with pasta, rice, rocks, bells, the only limit is your imagination!

importance of music for babies


Babies are sensitive to loud/soft sounds – (dynamics.) They can be startled by loud noises and comforted by soft rhythmic sounds as I mentioned earlier in regards to lullabies. Their whole body responds when music is played, for example a sitting baby will bounce to music and when they can stand they may sway and rock from side to side or bend their knees and bounce up and down.

toddlers and music


Toddlers are sensory-motor learners. They carry, cart, fill, tip, make a mess, climb, and wander around observing objects and people. They use large muscle activities extensively, dislike waiting for turns, and enjoy individual rather than group play activities. Toddlers learn with their whole bodies –that is, by doing rather than listening. They’ll move in response to how fast or slow (tempo) the music or instrument is playing. They can dance (if they choose to!) and have more control over their physical responses. Repetition, rhyme, finger plays and simple action songs are best for this age group.

At this stage of development toddlers may begin to distinguish between sounds and will respond enthusiastically, or not, to certain songs. Never forget that big feelings and tantrums are prevalent at this stage -it’s all about them!

Forget what anyone has ever told you about your musical ability … your child won’t be judging your rhythm or whether you’re in tune. It’s your voice and play-based activities that will capture their interest.

For further reading in this age group and beyond– the theorists Vygotsky and Piaget will give more insight into child development across all areas.

About the Author

Julia taught early childhood music at Gunnedah Regional Conservatorium for over 25 years and was a peripatetic music teacher in local and outlying schools and preschools. She has been a Mentor with Richard Gill’s NMTMP since 2016 and has worked with babies to 80-year olds. Julia is passionate about music education, and believes it can begin at any age. For young children particularly, this ensures developmental benefits for them not only in the arts but in other areas of their learning too. She was honoured to reach the final 4 in the 2019 ARIA Music Teacher Award. 

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Tips for parents: new school starters + childcare and kindy kids!

Tips for parents: new school starters + childcare and kindy kids!

starting school tips

Tips for parents: new school starters + childcare and kindy kids!

Starting at childcare, kindergarten or school can be a daunting prospect, for both parents and child!

Even the most relaxed child is likely to feel nervous about the new environment and separating from parents and caregivers. The Psychologists from the Paediatric Sleep & Psychology Clinic have put together a list of tips for parents and families to help prepare them.

tips for parents with kids starting school


  • Talk about childcare and read books like ‘Benjamin Comes Back’ by Amy Brandt & Janice Lee Porter
  • Pack a security object (teddy/blanket/something familiar from home that your child can use to soothe themselves)
  • Arrive a bit early so that your departure is not rushed, and you can calmly settle them in
  • Try to engage your child in an activity, then leave (but NEVER sneak away. Always say goodbye so that your child knows you are leaving)
  • Foster a relationship between your child and one of the childcare workers so that they can assist you at drop-offs
  • Try to stay calm, relaxed and confident yourself so that you are not communicating any anxiety or concern to your child
  • Speak with the carers to gain their insights about how your child is adjusting to the change, and if they are upset after you leave, how long for and what helps to calm them down


  • It is absolutely normal for a child to feel worried about starting at kindergarten or school. Allow them to understand that it is ok to feel worried. It is what a child can do about it that will be helpful.
  • Arrive a bit early so the drop-off can be calm, and you can calmly settle them in
  • Try to stay calm, relaxed and confident yourself so that you are not communicating any anxiety or concern to your child
  • Empower your child with strategies to help them with their nerves:
    o Talk about what is going to happen when they arrive at kindy or school, what the routine is likely to be, so they know what to expect.
    o Make a plan for what the child can do if they are feeling very worried, e.g. speak to the teacher, find a friend, go to the library and read a book
    o Make a happy book of things that make the child smile (pictures of mum or the dog, a funny riddle or crazy picture) that the child can look at when they are sad.
    o Give the child a small ‘special’ object like a small rock that they can have in their pocket, and have one yourself. Talk about how the child can hold their special object if they are feeling worried, and that you will also have your special object so that you are still connected and thinking of each other. There is a booked called ‘The invisible string’ by Patrice Karst which also talks about this connection between parent & child.
    o Work out how long it is before the child is picked up to go home and have a list which the child can cross off the times, counting down the hours.
    o Congratulate a child for trying any of these ideas.
    o At the moment you separate (say goodbye) point them towards your next connection (e.g. I am going now, and I can’t wait to see you again later today!) then calmly and confidently leave.



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Cluey Learning gives away free personalised haircuts for school students

Cluey Learning gives away free personalised haircuts for school students

Cluey learning free haircut


Every student wants that fresh fade for the first day of a new school year, or at the very least to say sayonara to their split ends ahead of starting the term.

Well, kiddos can start the year ready to be a cut above in more ways than one, with online tutoring service Cluey Learning offering free back-to-school haircuts for school-age kids via Just Cuts hairdressing salons, nationwide.


cluey learning


Cluey recognises that every student has a unique personality and approach to learning, which is why they tailor their tutoring to the learning needs of each student.

To raise awareness around the importance of personalised experiences, whether that’s something as routine as a haircut or as fundamental as how children learn, Cluey have teamed up with Just Cuts to say bye bye to bowl cuts by giving away free, personalised haircuts for school-age kids across Australia.


Cluey Learning


During the pandemic, online schooling highlighted to Australian parents just how much the curriculum has changed since they were in school. Parents had new insight into the way that their children learn and many identified clear learning gaps.

Cluey Learning research found that 88% of parents felt their child could do with more individualised attention at school and 90% agreed that now more than ever, kids need additional learning support.

Cluey’s online platform delivers a personalised experience that is mapped to the Australian school curriculum. Students’ individual needs are matched to over 1600 tutors and tutoring is offered online in private face-to-face or small group settings. Cluey uses a variety of digital technology to aid performance and delivery of the Australian National Curriculum and to complement learning that is taking place within the classroom.

Cluey Learning’s Chief Learning Officer, Dr Selina Samuels says:

“We all live in a highly personalised world, yet we don’t demand the same for our children’s learning. You wouldn’t expect your child to have the same hairstyle as every other student in their school, and you can’t expect them to be identical learners.

Moreover, research and the experience of learning from home has shown us the importance of responding to the individual learning needs of each student.

It’s important to take the time to reflect on the current learning needs of your children ahead of the ‘back to school’ period. To offer parents a helping hand during this busy and expensive time of the year, we’ve partnered with Just Cuts – the largest hairdressing company in the Southern Hemisphere. We hope this initiative draws attention to the benefits of personalisation in every aspect of our lives, of course for haircuts, but more importantly, for our children’s learning.”

School children who take up the offer of a free back-to-school haircut will also receive 20% off Cluey.

Be Quick! These offers will be “snipped” up by parents nationwide!

To request a free haircut: 


For further details and to learn more about Cluey Learning:




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Westminster Prep School spreads Christmas Cheer

Westminster Prep School spreads Christmas Cheer

Westminster Christmas

Westminster Prep School spreads Christmas Cheer

The Westminster prep school had quite a project to finish before school wrapped up for the year when Principal Simon Shepherd was asked for a favour by the jolly man in the big red suit himself!

We have the results and we think the kids nailed their assignment!



In the absence of the usual Christmas Lights display (due to COVID restrictions and the final stages of the School’s campus masterplan), families are also welcomed to drive along Alison Avenue (between Andrew and Orkneys avenues) to view a festive lights display from 8-10pm each night until Tuesday 21 December.

Westminster are hopeful that next year will allow them to extend an open invitation to the community to celebrate the joy of Christmas at Westminster.

For more information about Westminster School: 



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New Year…New Goals: Benefits of Goal Setting for Children

New Year…New Goals: Benefits of Goal Setting for Children

goal setting for kids

New Year…New Goals: The Benefits of Goal Setting for Children

From NumberWorks’nWords

As we approach the new year, there is a feeling of hope and excitement for what 2022 will bring. The new year symbolises new beginnings, and the opportunity to start fresh. Oftentimes we use the new year as an opportunity to set goals and make plans for the year ahead.

Goal-setting is an important factor in achievement and is a useful tool to introduce to children.

NumberWorks’nWords Norwood has outlined for us four benefits of goal setting for our kids, and some tips for helping them stay on track with their goals!

Triggering new behaviours

Before your child returns to school for the new year, sit down with them and talk through their goals for the year ahead. They might have a clear idea of what they want to achieve, or they may require coaching and mentorship to uncover their aspirations.

Following the goal setting exercise, your child will likely experience increased interest in achieving their objective. This may trigger new behaviours, such as practicing shooting baskets every afternoon, or reading before bed without being prompted. Help your child maintain these behaviours by supporting them in building positive habits.

Sustained momentum

Goals help children stay motivated and on track with their learning and personal development. Setting a big goal at the beginning of the year helps children to develop strategies to achieve their goals, and helps to build momentum and confidence. When children notice small improvements in their abilities or receive recognition for their advancement or effort, their motivation increases, which generates momentum. They become invested in their development and achieving their goals.

Guiding focus

Setting goals provides structure and focus for children. With so many distractions and opportunities to explore, goals help children to hone in their focus on what is important to them. If your child has set a goal to get top in the class for English, they might choose to spend their evenings reading instead of watching TV or take an interest in English tuition above music lessons. Having goals helps children to make conscious choices that align with their values and aspirations.

Achievement & personal growth

Arguably the biggest benefit of goal setting is achievement. Goals keep children accountable, and accountability is a huge motivator for achievement. When children are determined to achieve their goals, they often do. Accomplishing a goal can either lead to fulfilment, pride, and increased motivation, or a drop in motivation and dissatisfaction if the goal is not achieved. In cases where a goal is not accomplished, the experience provides the opportunity to reflect, and develop resilience.

Build confidence, boost results

If your child has uncovered a passion or a weakness that they want to work on, help them to set goals that support their development in that area. NumberWorks’nWords tutoring helps children to build confidence and boost their school results. Offering Maths and English tuition for every level and providing personalised tutoring programs that are designed to help each student achieve their learning goals, the team are passionate about helping children close knowledge gaps, gain confidence, and improve their abilities.

If you are interested in learning more about tuition with NumberWorks’nWords, get in touch with them to book a free assessment today!

NumberWorks’nWords Norwood
5/55-59 The Parade, Norwood


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Give your kids a head start with NumberWorks’nWords School Holiday Program

Give your kids a head start with NumberWorks’nWords School Holiday Program

stem education for girls

Give your kids a head start with NumberWorks’nWords School Holiday Program

Kickstart your kids into gear for next year with the NumberWorks’nWords summer school holiday program!

However your child has performed in English or Maths this year, a NumberWorks’nWords holiday program will give them a boost. Not just in their education, but in their confidence!

For children in primary school, holidays don’t have to mean a stop to learning, especially when the lessons are made to feel fun while developing essential skills. As children add to their competency, parents are quick to realise that a boost in progress also equates to a leap in confidence.

number works and words stem

English and Maths School Holiday Programs

NumberWorks’nWords school holiday programs are the perfect opportunity to get that resting brain back into gear after the long break before school starts for the year!

Each student’s learning program is individualised and tailored for students ages 5 to 16. Holiday programs combine fun with learning, in a supportive environment that builds confidence and delivers results.

Participants will take part in daily intensive lessons with specialist tutors in English or Maths, with tailored tuition that helps students build confidence and lift their school grades.

Places are limited and fill fast!

To book or for a free online assessment: 

08 82712121

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