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 hear and thoroughly understand language, music and other sounds. This includes understanding the meaning of tone, volume, literal and other aspects of language and music.



Developing understanding:


By now baby has learnt a great deal about sound, music and language. Her brain has been growing in the relevant areas and she will be enjoying her new knowledge and expanded ability to experience sound.


Her music activities should be progressing well and be a daily delight for you both, especially if you have found a good Suzuki music method teacher. Her experiences dancing with you should be linking music and motion together and providing her with an appreciation of dance movement and gracefulness. As a result of the love and attention you have given her since birth she should be developing into a naturally graceful, competent and intelligent person. One way in which baby will soon express her grace, intelligence and competence is through speech; and the hearing development you have been helping her with should soon help to produce her first spoken words. Because baby’s brain develops well and literally grows when she learns in an environment rich in language and sound, she should acquire a large base of language knowledge and the ability to be an excellent speaker in the environment you are helping to create for her.


Demonstrated Understanding:


During this period baby is still learning about the different sounds that we use to create speech and music; and her OMSDEP is still directed towards her experiencing and learning about those sounds. For that reason the Level 3 activities are very similar to the Level 2 activities. But something new that will come from baby during this period is that she will demonstrate that she understands you. “Demonstrated Understanding” here means that she will demonstrate to you that she understands a word or words. For example, when you say the word “teddy” she will look at her teddy or, each time you say “Time for a bath,” she will look especially pleased if she likes to bathe. Other examples of ‘demonstrated understanding’ are; if you say ‘hot’ then she will not touch an object she is about to touch; if you say her name she will almost always look towards you; or, if you say ‘let go’ she will let go. Baby will, of course need to demonstrate her understanding of any words or groups of words about seven times so that you can be sure that she definitely understands the language and her response is not just a random chance response. 



Activities for parents and babies:


Every day:


  1. Baby will hear sound best when it is a little louder than average adult speech. Therefore speak to her in a louder than usual voice and play recordings at the same level. Do not expose baby to very loud (and especially prolonged) sounds such as being close to a jackhammer or a speaker at a rock concert; as excessively loud sounds can damage her hearing. Avoid using portable audio players with earphones as these can also cause hearing damage if too loud. 


  1. Speak to baby frequently every day using the same words you would use if speaking to an adult. Whenever you are alone with her tell baby what you are thinking about and doing. Don’t act as though there is no other human being to speak to when you are alone with her. Talk to her as if she is an intelligent human being who understands all that you say, because that is largely how she will become an intelligent human being who understands all that you say. Don’t use “baby talk’; baby wants real language.


  1. Play recordings of excellent speech, sounds, instrumental music and singing while baby is awake and when she is not doing other activities that require her listening attention. Play inspiring music and speeches; music and speeches of the type that you would like baby to make and play herself in the future. Recordings can be playing throughout the whole day when baby is awake, especially when she is on the floor, dancing or doing other physical activities with you. Use the same recordings for a five day period and then replace them with new recordings if possible. If you do not have any new recordings at any time then continue to use the same recordings until suitable new ones are available. 


  1. Sing to baby for one minute or longer; 10 times each day. Sing joyfully and let baby enjoy your enjoyment of sound. One or more times each day lift her into your arms and sing joyfully as you dance. 


  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 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.” Help baby to make a sound in the same way as you did.


  1. Look through music stores and obtain 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 such as violin, piano or saxophone, that you can afford. Ideally you will obtain one of every type of instrument in the world but that is usually, of course, impractical. 


If you cannot obtain any instruments at this time then you can aim to obtain a piano or violin in the next 12 to 18 months. Baby will then still have the opportunity to become an excellent musician if she continues to do the other magnificentchildren.love activities now, but not this item 6.


Five times each day play one instrument for baby as well as you can and describe to her what instrument you are playing and how you play it. Help baby to make a sound with the instrument. 


  1. If you speak two or more languages set one day aside for each other language each week and speak only in one of the other languages on the day set aside for it. If possible only play recordings in the language being spoken on that day and, if possible, only play cultural music relating to the language being spoken on that day. Read the book “Magnificent Language”.


  1. Speak to baby in loving and happy tones to reassure her that the world is a loving place and that you love her. 


  1. If you have not yet already done so it is recommended that you read the magnificentchildren.love books listed in the activity section of Chapter 2 at Level 1. 



What baby should be doing at this 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.


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


  • Baby will demonstrate understanding of two or more words.(See the section titled “Demonstrated Understanding” above). 


When baby can do as above she graduates to Level 2 of Enjoying Sounds. Click on the diploma below to move on to Level 2.

An average child is likely to move on to Level 4 at approximately age 12 months.


A Natural Parenting child could potentially move on to Level 4 at approximately age 6 months.