24th February 2014

Musical play is a natural means of supporting engaged, sustained relationship based play. When musical play is used in a calming and regulating way, the child becomes engaged, able to listen, interact and initiate their own sounds and actions. Follow the child, match their energy levels, copy their sounds and actions and incorporate simple, predictable, playful, songs and musical games. 

Because musical form has a clear beginning, middle and end, it has been one of the most important contributing factors helping the development of the child’s concentration. The child learns to follow the musical form of an activity and sung instructions such as “now get ready to stop”! This helps the child in all daily routines. 

Musical form helps with problem solving, task organisation, and completion of task, teaching the child to wait, to expect closure. The song can be short and predictable helping the child to anticipate and follow each sequence of the activity: “Roll the ball and catch the ball and now get ready to stop”. The song can be extended and developed helping the child to persevere with an activity which is never boring if the play is musical. The same words can be repeated for each verse, until the child can listen and follow the sung instructions. Musical form, much use of repetition and use of rhythmic, playful songs provide consistency, helping the child to anticipate and practice sequences of an activity.

The music becomes an organising factor, helping the child to modulate from one task to another, accepting order and routine, and to communicate creatively, joyfully and playfully.

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Testimonials

I have been running Musical Parenting Groups in Auckland for 4 years, based on the model pioneered by Julie Wylie.  The parents are quite clear that these groups are very different to any  other music groups they have attended.  The points they mention time and time again are these:  the intimacy and interactivity of the small group, the enhanced bond established with their children, the musically interesting songs they learn to love and sing,  and the wonderfully joyful and stimulating  nature of the sessions.   To use C.S. Lewis’s memorable  phrase,  both they and their children are “surprised by joy”.

Alison Broom, Teacher
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