Baby toddler music classes

Language Development In Young Children – Take Note Of The Role Of Music!

We are absolutely passionate about using MUSIC as a catalyst for learning. Our excitement comes from years of experience as we’ve watched the effect that music-based activities have on children. What’s really exciting, is that our experience is continually backed up by research coming from prominent NEUROSCIENTISTS across the world.

The “we” I’m talking about, is Wriggle and Rhyme, a proudly South African MUSIC PROGRAMME for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers from 6 months to 6 years old.

Our mission is to introduce children to music-based activities in their early years, because:

  • music is such a fun and highly effective medium for learning.
  • music brings people together.

So, that’s exactly what our programme aims to do!

***Disclosure – This post is sponsored***

The Role Of Music In Language Development In Children

What Does The Research Say?

As the years have passed, more and more research is being done on the effects of music on growing brains.  This research validates the anecdotal experience from our classes. We consistently witness the incredible effect that music has on the children participating in our musical adventures.

It would make sense to assume that SINGING SONGS, in particular, has a helpful part to play in language development – in terms of repetition, vocabulary extension, auditory memory, rhythm and rhyme – all of which are the building blocks of speech.

However, research indicates that MUSIC ITSELF contributes to speech, even before the words begin to be understood.

The Building Blocks Of Language

“Infants listen first to sounds of language and only later to its meaning,” says Anthony Brandt.

Differentiating different sounds is one of the key components to language development.

Babies will start by gurgling and babbling to try and imitate their caregivers speech.  These are the building blocks of language.

When you think about the structure of a song – its different musical components, such as tempo, timbre, dynamics – one can see why music is so effective in forming the “scaffolding” on which speech is then built.

Kids music classes

The Importance Of Singing

One of the most obvious benefits of singing words, rather than only using instrumental music-based activities, is the opportunity to introduce and extend a child’s vocabulary.  Because of the way that music impacts our memories, words are more readily embedded when they’re sung, rather than just said.

Rhythm And Reading

Nina Kraus and her  colleagues at the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory of North-western University (Illinois, USA) have been researching the links between rhythm, speech recognition and reading.

Over the course of their tests they found those who had more musical training not only kept better time, but had better neural responses to speech.  Conversely, children who were poor readers tended to have difficulty tapping a consistent beat. Time to pick up our drums and start to play in time to the music!

There’s so much more that we could say and the research is persuasive and ongoing … but one thing is for sure – when it comes to LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT:

Take note of the role of music!

Some ideas to include more music in your child’s life

Here are some ideas for including music in your child’s daily routine:

  • Wake up your child in the morning by singing a little song / rhyme to them
  • Play music when you’re travelling to listen to together
  • Switch off screens and consider adding audio stories to your child’s “down- / rest-time”. This stimulates imagination in a way that visual resources cannot.
  • Wriggle and Rhyme has a range of musical stories which you can access on your favourite streaming service (Apple music, Spotify, iTunes, etc.) or take a look at
  • Use music to help to set a mood in your home – e.g. at bedtime, play gentle, soothing music but at playtime, play upbeat, energetic music.
  • Make singing together part of your daily time with your child. Expose them to your favourite music too – it’s not just about them!
  • Consider enrolling them for a music programme, and as they grow, encourage them to learn a musical instrument. You don’t have to spend a fortune!  An instrument like a recorder is a cheap and easy way to get started!

Whatever your circumstances or resources, make sure that you put music on the map!

Wriggle and Rhyme Logo New

Wriggle and Rhyme is a proudly South African music programme for BABIES, TODDLERS and PRE-SCHOOLERS.

Our BABY and TODDLER classes are launching in the GQEBERHA area from January 2024.

There are also branches in CAPE TOWN – Claremont, Rondebosch, Melkbos and Meadowridge.

Loads more info available here –

Or follow on Facebook or Instagram – @wrigglerhyme

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Programme Director Kirsty Savides with the W&R team
Programme Director Kirsty Savides with the W&R team

About The Author

Kirsty Savides is the Founder and Programme Director of Wriggle and Rhyme South Africa.  She is passionate about music, especially music education for young children.  Kirsty is married with 3 children (10, 14 and 17) and lives in Somerset West, Cape Town.

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Win a Wriggle & Rhyme Goodie Bag

Win A Wriggle & Rhyme Goodie Bag

The goodie bag valued at R900 includes:

  • A Wriggle and Rhyme Kooshty water bottle
  • A Wriggle and Rhyme zipped cosmetic / pencil bag
  • A wooden farmyard puzzle
  • A finger caterpillar toy
  • A plastic truck
  • An instrument shaker
  • Instrument hand-bells
  • All delivered in a Wriggle and Rhyme drawstring bag

Enter your details into the form below to enter this competition.

This competition is open for residents of South Africa and Terms and Conditions apply.

The winner will be announced on our competitions page - this competition is open from:

10 January to 07 February 2024

This Competition Is Closed For Entries

Click here to sign up for my newsletter so you don't miss another competition! 

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  1. Awsome blog and so much fun just love it @kaboutjie#winwithkaboutjie

  2. This is wonderful 🙂

  3. awesome giveaway!

  4. Whats an awesome giveaway.I would like to win this hamper

  5. Awesome read, thank you. Great giveaway!

    • Wow. What a amazing giveaway!! I have 5 kiddos. 4 of them under the age 6 and younger. We all are musical and love singing and listening to music. Would love to win this for them. They would enjoy it so much!!!

  6. Terri-lee Falken

    Love Wriggle & Rhyme

  7. This is super CUTE ????
    All my kids love music. In our home its all we do and our bonding time. as Hubby plays guitar. My oldest of 14 plays the guitar and is part of the Bloemfontein Child choir, my daughter of 11 plays the cello. My youngest of 9 starting this year with drums. ????

    Currently pregnant with our 4th so super excited to start the music from a young age.

  8. Marieta Snyder's Matthews

    this is a excellent gift for my granddaughter she would love this ????

  9. My son is on the spectrum and this would be an awesome gift especially for sensory play

  10. Wow, I am holding thumbs for this!!

  11. Keamogetse Keepile

    language development is my concern right now as my toddler will soon go into creche, such devices are so helpful in getting them prepped while at home. such a good thing

  12. Miss Thandeka Xulu

    This would be lovely for my kindergarten class, we don’t have any music instruments. kids love music

  13. Great giveaway, beautiful how a child can learn so much from music

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