- Written by Silvia Mwendia for Kenyakidz
An infants' group is giving Kenyan babies the chance to learn music from an early age in a bid to not only grow their developmental skills but also bond with their parents.
Dubbed Muziki Changa, the weekly classes offers babies as young as six months the opportunity to participate in musical activities.
Babies are rarely catered for as far as music lessons go and upon noticing this gap, decided to do something about it.
“Muziki Changa is all about bringing music, and the associated skills and benefits to the youngest in our families,” said Jenny who is one of the facilitators.
Muziki Changa is currently running trial lessons but is scheduled to start classes next week. The lessons will be held in various locations across Nairobi with some even from well wishers offering areas to hold the classes.
Running for 45 minutes, the classes will see the six month to 4 year old children engage in a number of songs and musical activities.
“The classes also promote bonding between the child and parent or caregiver,” added Jenny as the lessons will be done together with the parent.
Babies stand to benefit immensely from these classes.
“Music promotes creativity in children and development in all areas, intellectual, social, emotional skills,” remarked Jenny.
A number of studies on the benefits of music in children have been conducted over the years and the results are no different to what Jenny and her team aim to provide.
One such study is a 2012 one published in scientific journals Developmental Science and Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Conducted by researchers at McMaster University, the study talks of how babies' brains benefit from music lessons even before they can walk or talk.
“One-year-old babies who participate in interactive music classes with their parents smile more, communicate better and show earlier and more sophisticated brain responses to music,” read the study.
“There are many ways that parents can connect with their babies. The great thing about music is, everyone loves it and everyone can learn simple interactive musical games together,” said study coordinator Andrea Unrau.
The classes which will run on a weekly basis will go for Sh7000 for a 10 week session.