nurture children's love of music beginning in infancy

* Play music for your baby. Expose your baby to many different musical selections of various styles. If you play an instrument, practice when your baby is nearby. But keep the volume moderate. Loud music can damage a baby’s hearing.

* Sing to your baby. It doesn’t matter how well you sing! Hearing your voice helps your baby begin to learn language. Babies love the patterns and rhythms of songs. And even young babies can recognize specific melodies once they’ve heard them.

* Sing with your child. As children grow, they enjoy singing with you. And setting words to music actually helps the brain learn them more quickly and retain them longer. That’s why we remember the lyrics of songs we sang as children, even if we haven’t heard them in years.

* Start music lessons early. If you want your child to learn an instrument, you don’t need to wait until elementary school to begin lessons. Young children’s developing brains are equipped to learn music. Most four- and five-year-olds enjoy making music and can learn the basics of some instruments. And starting lessons early helps children build a lifelong love of music.

* Encourage your child’s school to teach music. Singing helps stimulate the brain, at least briefly. Over time, music education as a part of school can help build skills such as coordination and creativity. And learning music helps your child become a well-rounded person.

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