Are you a new parent who’s interested in trying a baby sensory class? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
You might like to call it a baby sensory class, but at Leading Note, our music classes are designed to engage all your baby’s senses – except for taste! As part of my yearly professional development, I had a wonderful time in Tokyo taking part in sessions run by Matsui Sensei. Matsui Sensei developed the Japanese form of our Suzuki music classes for babies, toddlers and preschooler/kinder kids (this article will help you learn more about the Suzuki educational philosophy). It was a fascinating experience, as I was able to see new angles for enhancing the development of tiny people. One thing they focussed on was engaging the complete brain through the stimulation of the senses. Seeing this in action gave me so many ideas for ways we can incorporate these concepts in engaging both adults and student throughout our classes. There is so much fantastic research to back up everything we see in the classroom, please click here to see the outcome of one of these studies.
Here’s the many ways our Pioneers and Explorers classes can positively impact many aspects of your little one’s development.
Baby’s Sense of Hearing
Of course, it’s a music class! Our students enjoy hearing and playing professional-quality percussion instruments. In setting up Leading Note, I spent $10,000 on instruments, because I want my students (yes, even the teeny tiny 5 week old students) to be surrounded by the most beautiful sounds possible.
Our classes are taught by professional music teachers. This means they have done a degree in music performance, and then studied education. So it’s not just a music class, you get to hear a professional musician sing for an hour each week! We use very little recorded music in the classes, so our students get to experience the joy of hearing and joining in with real musicians.
Audiologists talk about the ‘cocktail party effect’, where babies and young children aren’t able to filter out extra sounds. It’s a bit like being at a cocktail party, and trying to follow the conversation without being distracted by the chatter that surrounds you. So we are careful to keep the environment calm, with one sound to focus on at a time.
Baby’s Sense of Touch
An extra sensory element that is gained by playing such high-quality instruments, is that they will be able to feel the vibrations from the beautiful quality instruments as they are played.
One of the many elements I love about our classes is that carer and child enjoy an enhanced bonding experience, as they take part in the activities together – and there are always lots of cuddles!. It can be a little awkward for carers the first time, as most adults don’t spend their time singing and dancing in front of others! But I promise there aren’t any hidden cameras, and it’s great to see the parents let go of their inhibitions and have fun with their kids.
We use a variety of props in addition to the instruments, which the babies, toddlers and preschool/kinder kids love to hold and feel! Rainbow ribbons, handmade wooden ducks, scarves, and so much more. You should see how big our props cupboard is! We cycle through these props as we cycle through the 100+ activities, and we are constantly adding more.
Baby’s Sense of Smell
One of the best ideas I came across in Tokyo was to use the child’s sense of smell to create a cue that class is starting, as well as signalling the different sections of the class and stimulating the olfactory system. I was delighted to find Dindi Naturals, which is a small company based in North East Victoria producing high quality aromatherapy blends. They have a special blend that children love, and I love it because it helps the children to be both alert and calm.
Baby’s Sense of Sight
Throughout the class we use carefully chosen, beautiful quality props to enhance the learning experience. I have worked with a range of Australian artists to create our wooden and felt toy props, scarves, special prop bags and graphic design. It is a joy to work with talented local artists, and find ways to support them in their work too! The props are carefully designed for their interesting colours, shapes and textures.
There are so many activities across our curriculum that enhance the development of eye muscles. As adults, we don’t often think about the muscular strength required to track across a page when reading, or track a ball in space. It’s a really important skill, for so many reasons, but is also the beginning of hand-eye coordination.
Is a baby sensory music class right for you?
Could all this stimulation be overstimulating? Don’t worry, our classes are not a baby rave! We have a maximum of ten children per class, with a qualified teacher who is experienced in helping children and parents to support happy, calm learning behaviours. We work hard to make sure we are in touch with our student’s needs, so our students aren’t overwhelmed or overstimulated.
Leading Note in 60 seconds (Pioneers Class)
Check out our Pioneers class in 60 Seconds! https://www.facebook.com/musicaladventuresaustralia/videos/2077189262562613
Try a Pioneers or Explorers class with us
If you’re keen to try out a baby sensory class, get in touch to book your free trial class. We love teaching small people big things, and can’t wait to share beautiful music with you and your little one!
– Sophie Maxwell, BMus (Hons) (Melb), AMusA, STCA, VMTA