How exploring instruments can help develop listening skills for children with hearing loss
My daughter, Sayge, and I have been diving into the BabyBeats app created by Phonak and Advanced Bionics.
Babybeats™ app is an early intervention resource that helps children with hearing loss learn to listen and communicate. The way that the program works is that it uses fun musical activities to stimulate the hearing centers in the brain, helping children develop early listening and communication skills.
Last week, we used Movement and Music. This week we tried another one of the four sections that are available on the app – Exploring instruments. Movement and Music, Exploring Animals, and Exploring Transportation are the other three sections.
For the exploring instruments section, there are five specific musical tracks that are paired with different instruments including, drums, shakers, tambourines, bells, and wind chimes. For our family, we had a drum, shakers, and a tambourine on hand. We rotated our time using these instruments. If you don’t have any of these instruments at home, it is easy to get creative with household items to create the instruments. You could use a wooden spoon on a pot to create a drum or uncooked macaroni in a container to make a shaker. Outdoor windchimes work well too!
BabyBeats does a great job of teaching infants and babies in a way that is developmentally appropriate. For example, babies learn through repetition. The app does a great job allowing this style of learning. Now that the BabyBeats program is accessible in an app form, we can use in ways that work with our family and as often as we would like. This allows us to maximize that needed repetition.
The benefits from BabyBeats™
BabyBeats is a great educational tool for all children, but it is especially important for children with hearing loss. Babies learn using all of their senses including sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell, and movement. When children learn using their senses they are creating new brain pathways which allow for continued learning. Creating these pathways early on is vital for future learning to take place. This music program accesses those important parts of the brain that are needed for listening and learning. This is especially important for children with hearing loss.
There were three main ways we were impacted this week using the app. First, we were able to experience the benefits of the repetition. We used the app at least daily if not more. We usually only did one song at a time. Plus, I personally found myself humming and singing the songs throughout the day. Using the app so often helped the music activities became just a part of our daily routine.
Furthermore, because of this repetition, I noticed that Sayge, on occasion, was anticipating the music and intently listening to what she was hearing. This helped her match the music and the movement of the instrument. I can almost see those new brain pathway forming inside her head.
Lastly, using the app has continued to be a bonding experience. Playing with the instruments with Sayge was so much fun. She loved using the instruments. We laughed a lot and simply had fun together. This kind of bonding is important for me to continue to have with Sayge as her mom.
“She loved using the instruments. We laughed a lot and simply had fun together. This kind of bonding is important for me to continue to have with Sayge as her mom.”
Easy to Use
The BabyBeats app is simple to use. In the app, you can request a parent guide be emailed to you that helps guide you along in how to use the different sections. Additionally, there are videos located on the app that help show parents examples of ways to use the music activities. However, finding what works for you and your child will be important. Once I figured out times and settings that Sayge was most engaged, the program ran more smooth for us.
You can download BabyBeats right away!
- Go to your App Store and download the app
- Go to this link to receive your voucher code (the U.S. only)
- Sign up for BabyBeats
- Start using the app!
BabyBeats is the newest early intervention app by Phonak and Advanced Bionics. It is currently available for download on IOS and Android in the US, Canada, UK, and Switzerland. For more information CLICK HERE. Let us know what you think of BabyBeats™ in the comments!
Two of her children were born with moderate-to-severe hearing loss, likely from genetics. They wear Phonak Sky hearing aids, or as they call them, their “Super Ears.”
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