As individuals we may march to the beat of a different drummer, but one trait we all have in common is the desire to have music in our lives. It is intertwined into our day to day activities and is an important part of our culture. Music has long been a part of special rituals, celebrations, worship and even learning. For many of us it has played an essential part in our development.
Even before the tests proved positive, I knew I was pregnant. One of the very first actions I took, before I even took a test, was to start singing to my unborn baby. I was singing Christmas carols in October, but nonetheless, all of the melodies leaving my mouth were dedicated to the baby in my belly.
Nine months later, during the initial stages of labor, relaxing music filled the silent space in the room. Soothing sounds of the sea, chirping birds, and John Mayer not only calmed me, but provided a peaceful atmosphere for our newborn baby. Then after the arrival of our little one, John Mayer and Jack Johnson played on my iPod for the duration of our stay in the hospital to set a serene environment for the backdrop of our bonding time. Even now, when I hear John Mayer's "Clarity" and Jack Johnson songs, I am taken back on a reminiscent trip to when my daughter was just days old, and engulfed in the safety of my warm embrace.
When I changed my daughter's diaper, I would make up songs about what I was doing. Since this was a frequent occurrence, there were many musical styles that I introduced to my daughter. I even rapped a little for her -"I'm gonna change the diaper. Change, change the diaper." Isabella loved it, plus she would get distracted long enough for me to get the dirty deed done.
If my daughter was upset or scared, she would be soothed by the sounds of the "Itsy Bitsy Spider", or my personal rendition of "You are My Sunshine". In fact, one of her nicknames, Sunny, was derived from that little ditty which I sang quite frequently to her.
And when I wanted to teach my little one about words, numbers, or the different parts of her body - I turned to music. Nursery rhymes have provided Isabella a fun way to learn her ABC's, and a modified version of the Hokey Pokey helps her to distinguish her hands from her feet. She has even learned to take part in the Flyers chant, which makes Daddy very proud!
My daughter has a plethora of toys at her disposal, but sometimes she still gets bored, so we turn on some music and dance. We dance to show tunes, jazz, top 40 ... you name it, we dance to it. Isabella loves to shake her groove thing and isn't one bit shy about it. The bonus to this fun activity? Not only does our daughter get to engage in positive social interaction, she gets a daily dose of healthy exercise. She even attempts to work out her vocal cords by singing garbled "words".
My daughter has a great start for her music appreciation at an early age. I am sure by the time she is a teenager, her iPod will be able to hold her complete music collection and automatically select the perfect song for her current mood. No matter what she is feeling or listening to at the time, I hope that I do my part to allow her to enjoy the sweet melodies of life.