A Musician’s Music Box for Baby
Having spent my whole life learning and playing music, putting together Music Box for my baby was a special moment.
I thought I would share the contents of our music box with you, so you could put one together yourself, to play with your baby together.
Bringing your baby the gift of sound is amazing, so I chose a variety of sounds, mainly very gentle for my baby’s first sounds.
1.Rainmaker / Bamboo Rain Stick
A powerful atmospheric sound that evokes a sense of magic. By turning the instrument up and down slowly it mimics the sound of rain. You control the speed the rain falls by slowing or quickening the ascent or descent of the instrument.
This instrument also turns into a rhythm function by shaking it up and down, making it a true part of the percussion family.
Once your baby is past the oral phase, and stops putting everything in their mouth, you will be able to give them the instrument (under strict supervision) and allow them to shake for rhythm or indeed turn upside down to make the rain sound.
2. Egg Shaker
This instrument will encourage rhythm in your baby if you use it to map out the main beats in music while it plays. Loud, soft, loud, soft for time signature 2/4, and Loud, soft, soft, soft for time signature 4/4.
Once baby can grasp, see how much fun they have shaking the egg. As they get older teach them to shake on the beat of the music. Having an innate sense of rhythm will do wonders for their cognitive and mobility development, especially balance.
Kidly.ie do cute animal shakers here.
3. Wooden Pan Flute/ Panpipes
This instrument always makes babies smile. The sound is gentle, even though it is a wind instrument which requires a considerable amount of power to blow into, to create the sound. I chose this instrument purely to bring joy to my baby and make them giggle. In no way would I let them play with this instrument alone, though made from bamboo, it is heavy enough and too heavy for them. This is purely for mama or dada to use with baby.
MusicMinds.ie do a good range here. They also do instrument trade ins, very handy.
4. Brass Xylophone / Glockenspiel
If you like the sound of xylophones, then you will love the sound a brass one makes. It is an incredibly magical sound, delicate and gentle. The sound will bring instant joy to your baby, especially if you can manage to play some familiar lullabies on it. Make sure you get the correct stick for a brass xylophone, which should be a mallet type stick, not a wooden stick. If the store does not have one, you can find mallet sticks on amazon. They make a huge difference to the gentleness of the sound.
Once your baby has learned grasping you could supervise them banging the keys, but again this instrument is not a toy, so requires parental supervision at all times. The brass keys are very heavy, so do not let them play alone. Once my boy turned 1 he was able to bang the keys with more control, resulting in a clearer more precise sound.
If your little one loves the xylophone, why not invest 70-80 euro in a brass one, you will love it too I’m sure.
5. Tuning Fork, to ‘A’ Pitch
This is to teach them where A is on the musical scale. All orchestras tune to the note ‘A’ before they perform, you can usually see them doing this on stage before they play. So teaching your child to recognise note ‘A’ on the scale is an amazing advantage if you want them to learn music. You simply strike the tuning fork onto a hard surface and allow it to resonate. If you place the resonating fork onto wood it should sound the note through the wood, or indeed place it close to the ear to hear the note also.
Not a toy, so again this is a parent only instrument, something to interact with your baby together, not alone.
Anytime i strike the fork my child is always in awe of the sound, as it is quite magical.
One instrument we could not fit inside the box, which I play each day to my child, is a piano. A fundamental instrument if you do wish your child to learn music, and so easy to learn as it is so linear. Well worth the investment if you can afford it. I got my Kawai piano from Pianos Plus in Dublin, and they have a great trade in, trade up policy in place, allowing you to always have a good piano. Just remember to get it tuned regularly, don’t place it beside radiators or sunlight to keep it in tune and happy!
Now that my baby is now almost 1 year and a half I will be getting some more percussive instruments he can play with himself, under strict supervision. Such as this Djembe African Drum from Gandharva Loka Music Store on George’s Street. This shop also has a section of instruments for children on their website, which is very helpful.
As my child learns more music as he grows, I will put together some tips on encouraging learning.
Hope you found this helpful!