Music is an extremely useful and effective way to help children who are deaf develop their listening and talking skills. So, in this “Learning through music” section of Let’s Listen and Talk we provide some easy-to-learn and fun-to-use songs that we have specially written to promote language development for babies and young children with hearing loss from birth to 5 years.
So much learning can take place naturally all-day, every day, particularly for developing speaking and listening skills for young children with any degree of hearing loss. Music plays a huge role in doing this and is an integral part of our programme.
Most children love music, musical games and the actions that go with familiar songs. It doesn’t matter whether they have a hearing loss or not, children love the fun, energy and excitement that accompany singing songs, playing instruments and sharing music. And as we know, children learn best when they are enjoying themselves!
Working with the creators of the popular BabyBeats™ programme, we have developed a special series of new songs that you can use at home with your baby, toddler or preschooler with hearing loss. The “Learning through music” resource is a further development of the BabyBeats™ approach, and draws on ideas identified from running music groups with families at The Elizabeth Foundation.
The “Learning through music” resource has been developed with Chris Rocca and Cathy Bowker:
- Chris Rocca is currently a Senior Rehabilitation Specialist in the Adult and Children’s cochlear implant teams at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital in London.
- Cathy Bowker is a music therapist and accompanist working in education, therapy and performance; teaching in both mainstream and specialist settings.
Chris and Cathy have worked collaboratively for over 15 years, having met whilst working as music therapists at Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre in London. As a Qualified Teacher of the Deaf, Chris was an Assistant Principal at Mary Hare School, developing and leading the Performing Arts Department with Cathy across both the Primary and Secondary schools. They established the Music Therapy Unit, which continues to support families and educational services throughout the UK. Chris has produced research publications, contributed whole chapters to books and presented internationally in the field of deafness and music.
Together, they have worked internationally with cochlear implant centres, audiologists, therapists, and educational professionals; contributing to research, providing training and resources. They have developed a variety of music focused support resources, including Music Time, The Musical Journey and Musical Atmospheres™. Their last collaborative resource was BabyBeats™, which continues to be widely used in the UK and around the World. They are grateful to Advanced Bionics for their support in the publication of these resources.
You do not have to be a good singer or a musician to develop your child’s listening and language skills with songs and music – you just need to be willing to give it a go and help your child to join in.
To get started, take a look at the introductory section to find out about how music can help your child develop their listening and language skills. You can then move on to the songs that are most appropriate for your child’s age and stage of development – baby (available NOW), toddler or preschool (coming soon).