Isabella has been immersed in music from the minute she was conceived. I am a huge fan of music and will always have music on in the kitchen whilst I am cooking and like most people when I am driving in the car. I also love TV music channels or the radio on in the background when I am cleaning around the house. Depending on the song I am may be dramatically dusting on my hands and knees, arms outstretched and face equally theatrical, imagining I am the fourth member of Boyz II Men. On the other hand I may be crazily jumping around whilst hoovering and wiggling my wobbly bits to a dance number. Sadly my love of music means I am also a dreaded shower singer. I love nothing more than the sound of my voice bouncing of the bathroom tiles, whilst I am showering. Bathroom acoustics are the best, they make you think you sound like the legend that was Whitney Houston, in reality however I probably sound more like the late Whitney Houston’s cat! So my love for music probably explains Isabella and her own love of music. Having said that now that I have Isabella the dramatic hoovering is now more of a quick whizz around the house and sadly I am not really in the shower long enough to belt out a couple of verses let alone a number!
Isabella responded to music in my tummy with kicks and she still does the same today. When she hears music she stretches her arms out, kicks her legs and squeals with delight. Just the mere sound of music makes her smile and her eyes light up. Even the simplest sound of a bell ringing catches her attention and makes her eyes dance. Put simply Isabella loves music.
I remember when I was pregnant with Isabella I would listen to a variety of music from the Grease Soundtrack to Michael Buble and everything inbetween. In fact my taste is music is very broad, I like music of old like Dean Martin to more current artists like Eliza Dolittle. I know that when I was reading baby books they all stated how music was important to babies, so I was already on the right track and didn’t need to do anything more with regards to music.
When Isabella was just a few weeks old I bought her nursery rhyme cds and played them to her in her nursery and in the car. The songs were unexpectedly addictive and we found ourselves singing them when Isabella wasn’t around. Isabella loved listening to any type of music, but in particular her Nursery Rhymes, probably because she was familiar with them. You could see it in her eyes when she recognised the start of song and it was lovely to see the smile that followed when the song kicked in. This is something she still does today, her eyes open wide and she smiles when she hears the first few notes of a familiar song and then her arms and legs follow excitedly.
It was very apparent with her reactions to music that like her Mummy, Isabella had a for love it. I remember taking her to her first sing and sign class she adored it. I bought the CD’s so we could practise the songs and signs at home. The CDs were played at home and in the car. They worked a treat when she had enough in the car and would be bordering on a meltdown, no sooner had we pressed play she would be laughing and kicking her legs happily. Sadly now that she is a little bit older that trick doesn’t work as well as it used to!
Because of her love for music and the pleasure it gives her we try to engage and immerse her in as much music as we can. It truly is a joy to see her relax and enjoy herself when she is listening to music.
The O’ Jays song ‘I Love Music’ has some very apt lyrics;
I love music
sweet, sweet music,
long as it’s swinging
All the joy that it’s bringin’
We go to three music classes a week; Saltbox, Sing & Sign and Kindermusik and Isabella gets excited when we arrive at any of the classes, she looks around the room and you can see her registering where she is and smiling, as she knows what is coming next. We have all the CDs from the classes we attend so we can teach Daddy the songs and recreate the classes at home. We even sing songs in her Water Babies swimming classes. Added to this we sing songs during her morning exercises and we have songs for her brushing her teeth and her hair! In fact we jave somgs for most of our daily activities. Then to occupy whilst I am preparing food or washing up Isabella watches the ‘Singing Hands’ DVDs! In fact there is not much of the day that doesn’t involve music. Isabella even has a night time mobile that plays lullabies whilst she drinks her bottle. Given all her difficulties Isabella like I have said several times before is one of the happiest little girls that I know. Music is the one thing that Isabella can enjoy without any hard work or effort.
Isabella certainly has the music in her. The lyrics say it all;
I heat up
I cool down
When something gets in my way I go round it.
Don’t let life get me down
Gonna take life the way that I found it.
I got the music in me
I got the music in me…………………