Greetings from the Land of Moosicology…
Hello and welcome!
I’m Liisa, a classically trained pianist and songwriter. In late 2007, me and my husband Travis received the wonderful blessing of our son Toivo into our lives. I was surprised to notice that he really responded to music, ever since he was just a few weeks old. So I wanted to encourage his musical development.
(Later, when I was gathering the research to refine Moosicology’s method, I learned that all babies are born musical – they recognize both pitch and rhythm!)
But even though I had dedicated my life to music, I had never known that music skills are indeed the best way to develop a child’s brain.
I first came across one study in a parenting book that I was reading when my Son was a few months old that showed how music learning helped develop the connections between the two halves of the brain. It striked me quite a bit because even though I had always thought that music was a marvellous passion and activity, I had never heard of its brain benefits.
This research that led me to develop Moosicology also led me to write a book, ‘The Music Miracle: The Scientific Secret to Unlocking Your Child’s Full Potential’. It is finally published as of Nov/Dec 2013 – six years after our son was born!
When our son was 3 months old, I took him to a Baby-and-Mummy type of music group franchise. It was a nice activity to get out of the house but I noticed that it wasn’t teaching anything. I started thinking ‘what if the songs were based on different music concepts, so that the children could learn music theory concepts from songs’.
Having studied at the Finnish Musiikkileikkikoulu since I was a toddler (nothing unusual in Finland; most Finnish children indeed participate in real music training by professionally trained musicians and music educators), I knew from experience that there was a vast difference between real music training and simply ‘activities related to music’. I was looking for a chance for my son to experience the joys of learning real music skills, but I couldn’t find it in the UK near to where we were living.
At the same time, we couldn’t keep going to the music group, because it moved to clash with my Son’s nursery day. And so I came up with the idea of developing a music teaching programme that would teach children at home in their own time, through natural entertainment. All children love listening to music, so why not learn from the music as well!
Over the years we started to gather research on how children learn best and designed the Moosicology method accordingly, with the help of amazing music educators over the world. I am really grateful to everyone who helped us make Moosicology what it is today – a full package that teaches babies and small children music at home, through songs, stories, activation tracks and illustrated learning aids.
It was great to test all the ideas on my Son and see how his musical talents flourished. He has learned a lot from Moosicology – rhythmic skills (such as counting beats, keeping time and clapping), listening skills, recognizing, naming and playing musical concepts…And I haven’t had to push him to learn anything; he just picks it up naturally from the tracks and pictures. I also have evidence from his teachers that music learning has considerably improved his academic learning skills.
What most people don’t know is that small children – even babies and toddlers – can learn real music skills, even when they aren’t old enough to learn an instrument. Different music theory concepts, rhythms, notes, singing can all be taught to the smallest of children – methods such as Kodaly and Suzuki are famous examples of this.
With Moosicology, I wanted to create a music teaching tool that makes music learning accessible to all children, without the usual restraints of time, money, transport time to lessons and the hassle of finding the right instrument and teacher.
And because the Moosicology method is based on educational but fun songs and stories, even the smallest of toddlers and babies can start their musical journey in the comfort of their own home, in a way that fits their personal development.
There’s enough scientific evidence to show that early music learning is an all-round brain booster for babies and children (see The Science). In my ideal world, every child would get the chance to learn music from a young age. Parents are always told about the need to support their baby’s language development but rarely it is mentioned that the best way to do it is to support their baby’s musical development!
And toddlers and small children can gain so much from early music learning, yet so far it’s only the fortunate few who have been able to access and afford music lessons locally. Now we finally have The Complete Moosicology Package available online so that you can order a copy to your own home and start boosting your child’s music learning. You don’t need any musical experience to use the product – the whole point of it is that it teaches the core music skills – although aimed at children, we regularly hear from parents telling us how much they have learned from it!
Liisa Henriksson-Macaulay (Founder of Moosicology with husband Travis and our son Toivo)