ENJOYING SOUNDS, MUSIC AND LANGUAGES.  Baby’s sense of hearing and hearing development. 




Baby’s OMSDEP: Her sense of hearing and hearing development intentions:


  • To listen to, and understand, all contrasting sounds.



A developing interest in contrasting sounds: 


Baby should be more alert and awake more often now than she was in Level 1.  She should also be moving her limbs and body more actively and, through what she has learnt by means of her sense of hearing, understand much more about the world than she did at birth. 


At Level 2 baby’s language and sound development needs are much the same as in Level 1 with one particular difference. Baby is now taking a greater interest in contrasting sounds. One way in which baby’s ability to understand the meaning of sound is evident is that she should now, (at this Level 2), cry when she hears loud threatening sounds. Her crying indicates that she responds to the danger implied by loudness and tone. 


Contrasts in loudness and tones:


At this level baby is listening carefully to variations in sound loudness and tones and her brain grows as it hears more sound variations and remembers the sounds she hears. Magnificent parents therefore provide baby with a wide variation of sound contrasts at this time so her brain will grow well and she will have a higher level of listening intelligence as she grows older.


Contrasts in music and language that baby will enjoy hearing include loudness changes from loud to soft and from soft to loud and pitch changes from high to low and from low to high. She will also enjoy hearing sound, music and language contrasts such as those between Disney’s Snow White singing with animals and the Dwarfs singing as a group returning home from a day at the mine.  Other developmental contrasts she will enjoy include the contrasts between choirs and individual singers, big bands and small bands, pianos and trumpets, string quartets and whole orchestras, bass voices and treble voices, shouting voices (friendly) and whispering voices, trembling voices and steady voices, fast speakers and slow speakers, fast music and slow music, and many more.


Equal amounts of music and language:


Be cautious that you don’t start to provide all music recordings and no spoken language recordings or vice versa. Try to ensure that baby hears an approximately equal amount of music and language. As a rough guide about one-third to two-thirds is the maximum variation that should occur between music and language recordings to ensure that she has the opportunity to listen to a good deal of each. The language recordings can include such diverse subjects as the mining and processing of gold, the life of the tawny frogmouth bird, the history of Australian aboriginals, how whales communicate, wheat farming, how and why weather occurs, how to organise a gemstone display, how to farm organically, the human cardiovascular system and great religions of the world. There are of course many, many music CDs and tapes available. 



Activities for parents and babies:


A list of magnificentchildren.love activities follows. These are practical activities for children to do with their parent’s help. Magnificentchildren.love parents create the environment baby requires to complete her OMSDEP.  In many cases, these activities are the environment required and, after commencement, promote baby’s excellent natural development. 


The activity list sometimes includes extracts of preceding sections as well as new information. The list is intended for use as a day to day checklist for quick and easy reference but, to fully understand and participate in the activities, parents may need to re-read the entire Level, or other parts of this book, from time to time.



  1. Five times each day for one minute create an interesting and enjoyable sound environment by choosing a sound to make and then making it for baby. Make the sound softly for 15 seconds and loudly for 15 seconds, softly for 15 seconds and loudly for 15 seconds. Also make variations in the frequency or tone of the sound if possible. When you have made all the different sounds you can create over several days or weeks, repeat the sounds you have made again. 


Sounds that can be made include: chopping vegetables for dinner, tapping timber, cutlery and pots and pans, running sink taps, moving wind chimes and generally clanging, banging and making a noise. Before you make a sound tell baby what you are about to do and explain to her how you will do it. “I’m going to make this sound by tapping a spoon on the bottom of a saucepan. I will use the saucepan as a drum.” Support baby to make a sound in the same way as you did. For example allow baby to use the spoon to tap the pot. 


  1. Look through music stores and buy a collection of musical instruments including for example, clapping sticks, various sized cymbals, castanets, various sized bells, a set of tuning forks, shakers, tambourine, drums, a glockenspiel, and whatever other instruments, if any, you can afford. 


Five times each day for five days choose one instrument and play it for baby. Describe to her what you are playing and how you play it. Help baby to make a sound with the instrument. Every five days change to another instrument and repeat the procedure. When you have played all of the instruments for five days repeat the cycle two or more times. 


  1. Each day take baby for a fifteen minute or longer ‘sound walk’ and describe the sounds you hear or make to her. Places to walk include busy shopping centres, night walks listening to insect sounds, walking by breaking ocean waves, walking past farm animals or walking through the kitchen and creating noises as you go.  


  1. For Level 2 continue to do the Level 1activities, as well as the activities above but, as much as possible, introduce many contrasting sounds and variations in tone and volume. For example, play the saucepan and spoon loudly and then softly; then at the edge of the pan and in the centre to create changes in tone. 


  1. If you have not yet already done so it is recommended that you read the books listed in the activity section of Level 1. 



What baby should be doing at this Level of development:


  • Baby will cry when she hears loud threatening sounds.


Baby’s crying when she hears loud threatening sounds indicates that she responds to the danger implied by loudness and tone. 


Crying might seem to be a rather unusual measure of baby’s hearing development but it is a useful way to measure her progress when she is relatively undeveloped at this level or stage of her life.  Because she does not know how to reply it is of no use to ask her questions about how she understands sounds. Therefore we have to observe her behaviour, such as when she cries, to see if her development is progressing.


If a threatening noise occurs near baby we know that she can hear it if she responds by crying. It is reasonable to assume that she cries because the noise is threatening when she does not cry about non-threatening noises. This is the information that we are looking for at this stage of development; that baby not only hears sound but that she interprets it. She interprets the sound and decides if the sound is safe or threatening; and if it is threatening she cries.  This is a level of hearing development higher than the startle reflex response she had at birth. 


What baby should be doing as she enters the next Level of development: 


  • Recognising people by the sound of their voice. 


She will, for example, smile when a parent or regular acquaintance speaks to her in a loving tone.  To the contrary angry tones will likely upset her. 


  • She will anticipate events when she hears certain sounds. 


She will, for example, look to you for a dance when you play her favourite dance music, or she will wait expectantly to see who is coming if a door opens in another room.


When baby can do as above she graduates to Level 3 of Enjoying Sounds. Click on the diploma below to move on to Level 3.


An average child is likely to move on to Level 3 at approximately age 7 months.


A magnificentchildren.love child could potentially move on to Level 3 at approximately age 3.5 month.