A musical journey for you and your little one

Hello baby, welcome to the world
Here's astar to light your journey,
And to watch as it's unfurled

Introducing your baby to music is easy with the RSNO Astar app! Astar is the Gaelic word for journey. We chose it because we hope that music will be a big part of your child’s journey. Sharing rhythms, emotions and playfulness can bring you closer together and help your wee one to develop their language and listening skills. We hope you have lots of fun together, singing and clapping along.

Download the RSNO Astar app

Did you know that making music part of you and your baby's day can be a great way to:

  • make daily routines more fun
  • help your baby to communicate and learn from you
  • help you connect and bond with your baby
  • help your baby's learning and development?

You know your child is special, but did you also know that your little one is special to us?
Astar is our way of connecting with Scotland's children from birth and beyond. We're your Orchestra, and we're making a lifetime commitment to your child. We'll be there as your little one grows, to offer advice, ideas and live experiences every step of the way. This includes:

  • the RSNO Astar app (available for iOS and Android) containing tracks from the original Astar CD.
  • live experiences – concerts and workshops – for every year of their childhood.

Music is a great way of building your relationship with your baby. Music creates a space for being together – for sharing rhythms, emotions, and playfulness. So whatever tasks the two of you are getting up to, Astar has tracks that can make that experience richer for you and your baby; because human brains are born ready and eager for relationships.
Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, Developmental Psychologist
Honorary Fellow, University of Dundee

Advice & Ideas

How to use the RSNO Astar app

What you listen to at home with your baby is really important. Our RSNO Astar app has specially chosen tracks, designed with your day in mind, and we hope you'll give it a go and feed your baby's growing brain!

All you need to do is whatever comes naturally. After all, you know what's best for you and your baby.

You might choose to:
* Put it on in the background when you're going about your day
* Sing or hum along
* Make eye contact and pull faces
* Stroke, touch or massage your baby
* Play with hands and feet in time with the music
* Make up games
* Play the music on the RSNO Astar app to let baby know when it's time to nap, wake or play

To help your baby gain even more from the music you could:
* Copy and respond to the sounds your baby makes. They'll enjoy it, and it'll help them to learn to talk too.
* Make up your own words to the music: they might become special family songs.
* Make your own music – with pots and pans, jars filled with rice or pulses. Your child will love it and in time will be able to join in.
* You might even try playing some fun musical games.

How will music help my baby?

Love me, nurture me, cuddle me so
Play me music, help me grow

Music can make a big difference to your baby's development – and your family's wellbeing. Between the ages of 0–3, your baby's brain is forming and making connections.

Researchers tell us that all of the experiences your baby has at this age – including music – have a direct impact on how the brain grows. And they affect how well your baby does at school and in later life.

Listening to music can help with:

Babies come into the world looking to connect with you, in order to learn and develop. Researchers here in Scotland analysed the dialogue between mothers and babies, using software, and they found it has a beat and a melody – it's music – so you're probably already communicating with your baby in a musical way. Listening to and 'playing' with music is a great way of building your relationship.

To find out more visit, The Connected Baby.

The pathways in your baby's brain are shaped by the experiences they have, and the responses they receives from the outside world.
Researchers have found that listening to music works all areas of the brain and that babies brains benefit from music even before they can walk and talk. So listening to music from birth – particularly if you play at the same time – can help strengthen your baby's ability to make connections, and to communicate with and learn from you. Scientists are finding more and more that these pathways are musical, that the brain works in a musical way.

Researchers have also found that music may help with:

Learning to talk
Listening skills and awareness

A happy, stress-free environment is really important in helping your baby's brain to develop, it's also really important for other family members too! Research from all over the world has shown that music improves our emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing. A recent study found that playing music helps premature babies, by increasing their weight gain and lowering their stress levels.

A love of music will not only give your child a lifetime of pleasure, it may also encourage them to participate in music, sing or learn an instrument and this has been proven to have huge benefits for children and young people.

© Royal Scottish National Orchestra 2021