Can little children learn and understand music….even in the womb?
I believe that children can assimilate music before they are old enough to speak,
maybe even before they are born.
I discovered this amazing truth when I was pregnant with number three.
Life was hectic with a five year old and a three year old.
We had started violin lessons, rode horses, and took swimming lessons.
Along with the lessons came the concerts and horse shows.
The horse show consisted of the children walking around a tree.
When the teacher called ‘cantor”, the children would begin to cantor around the tree.
With each call the children would mimic the horses’ walk.
It was absolutely adorable.
I found it exciting to plan the day for little people.
Everything was fresh and new, in their eyes.
For us, we were doing it all on a shoestring budget.
The little white Volvo should have been condemned.
I’m ashamed to admit that the junk on the floor in the backseat was a health hazard.
Plus, the floor was nearly rotted through.
I still have panic attacks fearing that one of the kids could have fallen out of the car.
We would ride maybe fifty miles from our home to take violin group lessons.
The little car had served us well but it was over-used with little care on my part and it showed it.
We listened to our violin music over and over, not just what the kids were learning but what they were going to learn.
I wanted to pull the kids out of their little ‘silence’,
they weren’t big noise makers, so we would sing songs.
Being pregnant and taking care of two tiny people who still needed me to provide almost ‘life support’ for them, made me tired.
I wrote a list of songs that we could sing together and put it on the visor of the car.
As we rode, I would lower the visor slightly so I could see the list, and we would sing.
One song after the other….I can still sing through the list in order (so can they).
I even made up some of the words at the time since I’d forgotten what they were, and they are still the words I sing today.
Soon number three was going to be born and we moved to a station wagon that gave us a little more room for three car seats or boosters.
The delivery wasn’t pleasant. She wasn’t ready to be born and long story short, I lost half my blood and went into shock.
It took well over a year to get better.
I had to jump back into life before that.
I still had to take them to their classes and teach them violin.
The baby was listening.
One day we returned to the old car.
I don’t remember why.
I found the list of songs on the visor.
For the past five months, singing had been the last thing on my mind, but now, all three of them were snug in their seats and waiting on me.
I pulled the visor slightly down
How could I have forgotten about the singing?
We started to sing.
The baby hadn’t heard any of these songs since she was born.
I wasn’t in a singing state of mind. Now as we began to sing she went wild.
She was jumping all over and excited.
She had remembered the songs from hearing them ‘before’ she was born.
What can we learn from this?
Don’t let exhaustion or the business of life rob you of the pleasure of ‘becoming’.
I could have licked my wounds and gone down the road of exhaustion. But I never would have been able to recapture the development that took place in any one of the children…..
especially the one that was in the womb.