How to Build Language and Reading Skills by Singing

Is it possible to grow your baby’s brain by singing to them? Absolutely! Learn why singing is such an important activity for helping your child with hearing loss learn to listen and talk and get some easy tips to get you started.

Did you know you can turn everyday moments with your baby into sing-a-longs that will help grow their brain for listening, talking and reading?

Singing is an important early intervention activity you can do with your baby who is deaf or hard of hearing to grow their brain for listening, spoken language, and literacy. Songs and rhymes have been shown to help build your baby’s vocabulary and reach language goals that build a foundation for literacy. Singing also encourages the development of a voice rich in inflection, improved articulation of speech sounds, and increased memory for words.

The good news is you don’t have to be an award-winning artist to be qualified to sing to your child. As a parent, your voice is the one that your child loves to hear the most! Here are some simple tips you can use as you sing to your child with hearing loss to help them learn to listen and talk.

  1. Play with pitches. As you're bouncing your baby up and down, sing the following phrases: "1-2-3 bounce-bounce-bounce. Up and down, up and down." Try making your voice go up in pitch when you're saying "up" and down in pitch when you're saying "down".
  2. Next, observe and pause. How does your baby respond to your singing? Do they show you they want you to continue?
  3. Make up your own songs. Not only is singing important for language learning, it makes life fun! Make up your own songs to sing while getting dressed, brushing teeth or picking up toys.

Watch Hearing First CEO, Dr. Teresa Caraway, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT walk through these steps for singing in this video you can watch and share with family members!

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Don’t forget! The intentional interactions between you and your baby, including those when you’re singing, are what’s going to grow your baby’s brain the most. Don’t be afraid to get creative with all the opportunities to incorporate language with your child throughout your day.