If you had the pleasure of being at the Hawks Well Theatre, Sligo today, Sunday 10th January for the Baroque concert, well you were one of the lucky ones. We were delighted by Baroque music performed by Rod Alston on the harpsichord, Anna Huston on the cello and Nicola Cleary playing the Violin. Parents gathered with their babies and toddlers to experience a wonderful performance of classical music. Babies ranging from 7 weeks old, were delighted by the wonderful sounds that echoed in the foyer of the Hawks Well theatre.

It was amazing to watch the toddlers crawl among the musicians, some lay on the cushions strewn on the floor while others danced and waved their hands in time to the music. I observed one little girl, about 15 months old who was so carried away by the sounds she heard that she had her eyes closed, head tilted back and was swaying oblivious to all that was going on around her. You’re never too young to get lost in music. Young babies snuggled in their parents arms being gently rocked and many breastfed to this timeless music.

Like we often hear in music, things started very calm and quiet and gradually came to a crescendo. The whole point of the performance was that young babies, toddlers and their families could come and enjoy this music without worrying about telling the children to sit down, be quiet or pay attention. Like music, they were free, free to experience the performance and join in. We heard lots of gurgles, screeches and babbles, some babies were completely mesmerized by the sounds that were being brought to their little ears while others danced with each other. At the second performance tambourines and chimes were passed out giving parents and children an opportunity to participate in the performance.

As a childcare professional I am aware that music has a positive effect on both babies and adults, especially when it is calm and gentle like classical music. You can use music to help your little one settle at times of distress by either singing, humming or playing a cd, remembering not to have the volume too loud, protecting their little ears. “The Mozart Effect : Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind and Unlock the Creative Spirit”

http://lrs.ed.uiuc.edu/students/lerch1/edpsy/mozart_effect.html