Why is a full set of materials required for every family, even if they are enrolling an infant only?

student_materials_full_set.jpgPolicies are based on research and experience, both of which indicate that the instrument and workbook are valuable tools even for younger students.

While an older child's growth and development using the instrument is more visible than an infant's, that does not mean an infant is not benefiting from using the instrument. Often we use instruments to keep a beat and that is a measurable skill we can see in children. But, there are so many more benefits happening in a child's brain that are not visible! Among these are:

  • strengthening auditory perception skills
  • building coordination and body awareness (even if it is at a rudimentary level)
  • experimenting with cause and effect
  • increasing concentration and attention span
  • building a sense of independence
  • exploring timbre (infants as young as 7 months old can hear a variance in timbre)
  • creating and developing neural pathways
In fact, younger children experience these benefits more intensely. The ages between 6 and 12 months are considered the first critical "learning window" for many cognitive functions. Children in this age range are increasing cognitive function through musical instrument play far more than an older child is!

This same concept of measurable outcomes is applicable to the workbook. The simple act of exposure, while it might not produce any demonstrable results, has multiple, if not readily visible, benefits. These include the following:

  • building visual discrimination skills
  • increasing concentration and attention span
  • promoting a social bond between parent and child
  • providing opportunities to develop visual tracking skills
We believe the Sound Beginnings program is most successful and provides the greatest benefit when all tools are used in tandem. Taking advantage of all the tools gives the child the best opportunity for a rich visual, physical, and auditory experience, and it is for this reason we require a full set of materials.

Simple brief analogy

We don't wait to expose our young children to books until they can "use them correctly" (e.g. speak the language and read the words). We read to our children from very early ages because we understand the long term benefits it produces. This same concept applies to the musical tools used in Sound Beginnings. We needn't wait to introduce our children to musical tools until they can use them exactly as designed. We promote interaction and exploration with them because we know, that by doing so, their brains develop in ways they otherwise would not!

Related: Do I really need to purchase a Sound Beginnings Tote Bag?