What is Boppin’ Babies?
Boppin’ Babies is a musical education program that harnesses the science of music therapy and the joys of music and movement. This is more than just a music program! Using the science and research that informs music therapy, this program fosters development through creativity, movement, music and interaction.
Music is a wonderful tool to use with children as they are inherently musical and generally respond positively to musical stimuli. The tradition of singing lullabies to communicate with and soothe babies and using music in play has existed for years.
As babies grow into toddlers music can be used to reinforce their development and help meet important milestones. This is because music is fun, fosters creativity and joy, and allows children to participate at their own level and pace. By its very nature music enhances learning, and children’s songs are particularly effective because they are repetitive, providing lots of ‘rehearsal’ opportunity, and are predictable, enabling children to anticipate ‘what comes next’.
Why Boppin’ Babies?
Boppin’ Babies is based on music therapy principles and early childhood development theory. The program is designed and run by music therapists to ensure that childhood development is a key outcome of participation.
To ensure this is the case, Boppin’ Babies groups are child-centred and interactive; and all music is played live and while we work from a highly developed session plan, all groups are reactive to the children’s needs and responsive to their participation on the day.
All staff are highly skilled in using music to meet the developmental needs of children.
Boppin’ Babies Today
Boppin’ Babies delivers fun and stimulating music groups for babies, children and parents throughout Brisbane. Boppin’ Babies music groups for children are designed to enhance babies’ and toddlers’ development and help you use music in your centre.
Children will learn important concepts and skills such as:
- gross and fine motor skills
- increased confidence to move
- improved social, speech and language skills
- greater creativity and emotional expression
- improved social skills
Each Boppin’ Babies session runs for thirty minutes and is conducted by visiting Boppin Babies session leaders. Sessions can be run in rooms or across rooms depending on the wishes of the centre and parents. The sessions develop a range of skills, focussing on using the program’s foundations in music therapy to assist this development. Through the Boppin’ Babies program children, dependant on age, will focus on select skills:
- exploration of sound and instruments
- responding to social cues
15 months to 2 years:
- Social skill acquisition (hello, goodbye, turn taking, waiting)
- Listening skills
- Cognitive skills (1 step instructions, concept comprehension)
- Language development (sounds, words, finishing song lyrics, naming animals)
- Physical skill development (gait, marching, dancing, mid-line work, bi-lateral hand control)
- Emotional expression
2 years to 3.5 years:
- Social skills development
- Listening skills (following instructions)
- Cognitive skills (following 2-step instructions, concept comprehension, attending and task focusing skills)
- Language skills (singing songs, learning new words and sounds to music, naming new instruments, animals each week)
- Physical skills (jumping with two feet, begin skipping and galloping, playing drums with beaters one and two handed, bi-lateral work continued, crossing of mid-line)
- Emotional expression (waiting to talk about self, identifying emotions in songs, self-regulating moods)
3.5 years to 4.5 years- pre-prep
- Social skills development (turn taking, choosing others, rewarding good sitting)
- Listening skills(problem solving as a team, following instructions and listening to each other)
- Cognitive skills (following 3-step instructions, abstract concepts, more advanced concept comprehension work, attending and task focusing skills)
- Language skills (acquisition of new songs and words with direct and abstract meanings, reinforcing and building on language each week)
- Physical skills (skipping and galloping, big body gross motor tasks – dancing and following instructions to increase complexity, playing drums with two hands, bi-lateral work continued, awareness of rhythm and beat)
- Emotional expression (waiting to talk about self, identifying emotions in songs, identifying emotions in self, self-regulation of emotions and moods)
Boppin’ Babies provides a structured environment where musical material is repeated, opportunities for listening, copying and rehearsing are constantly available and where the children are immersed in musical fun. Through this the music provides opportunities for the children to learn and grow and develop as well as exposing them to musical concepts.
Singing is a key element of the program as it assists young children in acquiring language skills and is a wonderful tool for reinforcing this development. Young children ‘learn’ music most effectively through singing because of the lack of cognitive scaffolding to ‘process’ formal music education. At Boppin’ Babies children actively make music throughout the session, rather than being taught music. This way, they learn through participation, repetition, practice, immersion and fun.
As the children get older, Boppin’ Babies begins to introduce more music education concepts through listening, singing and movement games, and also adds elements of pre-academic skills, such as working on pincer grip through instrumental play, rhythms, new words, following complex concepts and instructions. This allows the older child to begin to learn about music, while also reinforcing their preparation for schooling.
This feeds well into the Early Years Learning Framework, which has a vision for all children to experience play-based learning that is engaging and builds success for life.