Sound and music surround us and are a natural part of the world we live in. But have you ever wondered how these sounds impact children and babies? As a part of the CIC Talk series, musician and CIC member Laura Espinoza presented on the topic of “Sound, Music, and a Little More for my Baby” at the CIC Office in Villach on February 20, 2019.
Originally from Mexico, Laura Espinoza is a music educator, musician, and CIC member living in Klagenfurt. Her interest in music brought her to Vienna to study the bassoon where she stayed for two years. Afterward, Laura moved to Klagenfurt in 2018 to continue her studies of the bassoon at the Carinthian State Conservatorium. After moving to Klagenfurt, Laura became involved with the CIC to meet new people. With more than 10 years of experience working with children in the field of music, Laura was invited to present her expertise to an eager group of CIC parents and their babies.
To get the talk on sound and music started, Laura invited the group to gather together for some movement and singing. The talk’s attendees were happy to oblige as parents and babies from around the world joined together in a cheerful tune. Once the singing and dancing was finished, many remarked on how fun the activity was. The babies and small children seemed to have enjoyed it too with smiling faces all around. After the joyful song and dance, Laura asked the group to reflect on what music and sound is. For many attendees, music is a sensory experience that creates emotion. One mother remarked how rock and roll music gives her husband and son energy while another mother explained how she listens to classical music to relax with her baby. With so many ways to enjoy music at home, is all music equally good for children? According to expert Laura Espinoza, not all music is ideal for babies and children.
For example, consider the difference between the rhythms of Reggaeton music and a classical orchestra. According to Laura, it is important to think of musical elements such as harmony, melody, and rhythm when selecting music for children. Laura put it this way, ‘think of music as a well-constructed home - it should have a strong foundation, offer comfort and shelter, and ideally be designed by a thoughtful architect.” Since babies are especially sensitive to sound, it's important to avoid dramatic music with repetitive rhythms. So, what’s the best way to determine if something is appropriate for children? Laura suggests that parents should observe the ways their children respond to music. If the children smile or react peacefully, you know that you have selected good music for your child.
After her presentation, Laura answered questions and concerns about music exposure from the attendees. Given Laura’s experience as a music educator, musician, and expat she brought a unique and thoughtful perspective to each question asked. If you are interested in learning more about parenting in Carinthia, join the CIC BabyChat group which meets every Wednesday from 10 - 11:00 am. For more informative talks organized by the CIC, stay up to date by checking the CIC Activities and Events webpage or by following the CIC on Facebook. Many thanks to Laura Espinoza for this engaging and interesting talk.
Text and photo: Chelsea Navarro