Much has been written about the benefits of music in children. It is scientifically proven that children that take music lessons from a young age excel in many other subjects as they grow up.
Because music is a combination of imagination and logic, children that take music education or do activities incorporating music show strong concentration skills, discipline, excel in math and scientific subjects and are also open to many creative exercises.
In many educational systems around the world, music education is a part of formal curriculum and music lessons are as important as language, science or geography. This formal music education is not provided with the expectation that the student will become a professional musician.
It is simply an acknowledgment that formal contact with music is an important asset for all children and youth who will definitely benefit from its fruits in all life aspects, whether they become a doctor, engineer or architect.
Equally, even prior to music education, it is important for parents to incorporate music to lives of their infants and toddlers. A months-old baby can absorb values from age-appropriate music that will be developed further as they grow.
Introducing young children to music helps develop their senses and sensibility. Many studies have shown that children exposed to music have more accurate perception of pitch and rhythm as they grow, which, in turn, is translated into many other values.
In Egypt, parents searching for music education for their children find a number of music centres in Cairo, including: the Cairo Opera House talents development centre; Kithara Music Centre; Cairo Music Centre; Hewaya Art Centre; Maadi Symphony School and classes offered in the Russian Cultural Centre.
Another programme, Kindermusik is tailored especially for the youngest children and classes are given for babies, infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers.
Popularised in the US in the late 1970s, Kindermusik was originally developed in Germany in 1960s based on a collaboration between musicians, educators, child psychologists and neuroscientists. It emphasises music as an important tool in child development and establishes a love for music at very young ages.
“I realised the importance of music in the development of children while living in Dubai, where my eldest daughter was privileged enough to have a variety of music activities. I saw the benefits that it provided on many aspects of her development. Upon my return to Egypt I was searching for similar classes for my younger daughter. The Kindermusik programme was particularly interesting and I contacted them for possible courses,” Dalia Badrawi, owner of Kindermusik under Dalia Studio in Zamalek, explains to Ahram Online.
Badrawi got her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Human Development from Boston College- Lynch School of Education in 2004, did her practice in education of young children in Boston and also taught in Choueifat School in Cairo and for a short time in pre-schools in Dubai.
Badrawi quickly got acquainted with the Kindermusik curriculum and having passed courses and tests by January 2011 she was licensed as one of the Kindermusik representatives in Egypt, operating under the name of Kindermusik with Dalia.
Kindermusik curriculum is divided into stages: Village for newborns until babies 18 months old, Our Time for toddlers 18 months to 3 years, Imagine That! for children 3 to 5 years old and Kindermusik for your children, attended by age 5-7 years.
Kindermusik invites children to games and fun offering them the precious benefits that music can provide. The music education boosts fine motors skills and language skills, social and emotional skills for babies and toddlers.
“Babies are exposed to different sounds, bells, shakers and listen to music. Mothers do a parade with their children singing songs… Older babies hold bells, wooden sticks, clap to the rhythm of music… We stress on child receptiveness and concentration. Toddlers have lots of activities developing their imagination and boosting their social skills and confidence. Shortly, children have lots of fun and develop while music becomes an important part of their lives,” Badrawi explains.
Another important value of Kindermusik is developing the bond between parents and their children. Many classes are attended by mothers, who can sometimes participate, watch or take activities to repeat at home. Parents take reinforcing materials, CD, music tools, home to practice with children.
Badrawi stresses on the importance of commitment as this is the only way to reach the actual fruits of the programme. Her classes consist of around 10 children each.
Kindermusik becomes a life pattern and a strong development method for the children. Badrawi is considering expanding Kindermusik practices to more locations around Cairo.
“Kindemusik philosophy does not allow for multiple studios in close vicinity to each other. There is already one studio in Heliopolis, Kindermusik with Suzy. Together with my studio in Zamalek we manage to cover two districts. I am looking forward to opening more studios around Cairo under the name of Kindermusik with Dalia.”
In parallel to those plans, Badrawi will also launch an ABC Music & Me programme in some kindergartens. ABC Music & Me is a Kindermusik programme that encompasses story time, dance, play with music while developing social and emotional skills in children.