The Alphabet Song As A Lullaby?
Songs are powerful things aren’t they? The catchy tune, the lyrics, the rhythm…you catch yourself singing along to the latest hit on the radio without ever having actually studied the words.
We’ve all been there before: trying to revise important dates or names for that history quiz; or, possibly worse, trying to come up with ways for your kids to retain those important dates or names for their quizzes. It can be a real chore, and many find it increasingly difficult to retain all that information; and yet somehow, we can remember each and every word to our favourite Bon Jovi or Madonna song even though we never sat at a table memorizing the lyrics…[and as for singing along to that Justin Bieber tune your daughter has on constant repeat? Well, I won’t tell if you don’t! (Baby, Baby, Baby, ohhh!...)]
The power of song is quite a remarkable thing, and utilizing it to your advantage can actually aid your young reader for the years of memorization ahead...and yes, it can begin before your child can read.
Did you know that singing at an early age to your babies helps them memorize important skills such as learning the alphabet? In my Ready For Reading Baby Time classes, I have the parents sing the classic lullabies we all know and love “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, and “Baa Baa Black Sheep” as they gently rock their babies. Towards the end of the sessions, I pull out “The Alphabet Song” and some parents pin me with a quizzical look…do I really think a baby is going to know the alphabet? Is there a use to singing it when the baby won’t understand?
Well “The Alphabet Song” has the same tune as those two previously mentioned classic lullabies. By singing “Twinkle Twinkle” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep” to your baby repetitiously, they begin to recognize the rhythm of the song. Adding in the alphabet to that familiar tune, increases the chances of your child memorizing the letters later on in their preschool years.
So when rocking your baby to sleep tonight, don’t rule out using “The Alphabet Song” as a lullaby simply because it may seem irrelevant. In fact, add it on after your nightly rendition of Baa Baa Twinkle Star! I get my Baby Time parents to sing it as a round: One group starts with “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, the next begin “Twinkle Twinkle”, and the final group finishes with “The Alphabet Song”.