Little Music Makers 9:15 – 9:45 Sundays

 

In the church we know that rhythm and music are ways that we come together, ways that we communicate love and praise, ways that we raise our voices in thanksgiving to God.

And now researchers say that singing is among the most meaningful activities we share with children. In an article published in the New  York Times, August 15, 2018, Dr. Mehr, principal investigator of the Music Lab at Harvard with the psychologist Sandra Trehub of the University of Toronto, reinforced what  many parents and grandparents intuitively know: Singing to children, as people around the world do, is among the most meaningful activities we share with them.

Scientists have learned a lot about babies and music using inventive lab experiments that measure babies’ gaze, their behavior, even their heart rates and stress hormones. They report that tiny infants show sensitivity to rhythm and pitch and can distinguish familiar melodies.

“Their memory for music is shocking,” Dr. Mehr said. Across class and culture, “they’re incredibly perceptive listeners.”

Dr. Mehr’s theory is that singing communicates that a particular grown-up — it could be a grandparent as well as a parent, and in many cultures probably is — is paying attention, something enormously important to vulnerable babies.

“It’s a signal of who’s a friend, a member of my group,” Dr. Mehr said.

Which helps explain why it doesn’t much matter how well or poorly you sing. It’s the attention, the feeling, that kids respond to. “You put all the gush into it and it’s the emotive quality that comes across, not whether you hit the right notes,” Dr. Trehub said.

Do you have a young child or grandchild? Come make music together on Sunday mornings!

Rachel Brune