A few years ago, I attended a presentation from a swim school Lifeguard training owner from Japan, and was amazed at the innovations, they were using in their children’s swim program. By implementing music and musical themes into their professional swimming classes, their results were staggering.
I remember quite vividly, my successful experimentation with music at our swim schools for our younger children. To this day, one of the most memorial “mother and baby classes” I ever participated in, was using the soundtrack of “The Lion King” as background music. It created a most incredible vibe.
Not too long later, at another overseas conference, a Mexican swim school reported similar astounding benefits and more successes from their programs involving music and musical themes. On returning back to Australia. I had to wonder, where are our innovative swim schools in our beloved Aquatic industry gone? Thirty years ago, we were leading the world trends on learn to swim and swimming development; now I seem to be travelling the world in search of new aquatic ideas and swimming materials.
Now, not everyone in Australia follows the same old patterns, but it is very rarely, I see swim schools or an aquatic center, that are willing to experiment or implement something new into their swimming program. Music in a learn to swim program is such a simple thing. Yet there are not many doing it.
Why, there are several swim schools in Brisbane, who have installed underwater speakers but don’t use them during their classes? I wonder why? Yes, I will admit in a commercial pool setting, it can be noisy, but isn’t it as easy as adjusting volume to have background music at the very least for the smaller children.
At our aquatic centres and swim schools, we used to play old time music 60’s and 70’s, first thing in the morning for our regular lap swimmers, nursery songs and fun children’s music for our morning learn to swim sessions, classical relaxing music during the day for our oldies.
in the afternoon sessions it was just background music until the aqua music got everyone bopping. At any of our fun days, dive in movies or pool discos, we would crank the music up and just let everybody have fun.
The music had a definite purpose. I always had an understanding of the power of music and the invisible vibe it created. Often our clients would say, other swimming pools, just seemed dead or flat and not the same as our center. (It’s all in the vibe)
So let’s get back to the benefits of implementing music into your professional swimming programs and why I would highly recommend it? There is so much research out there, that I recommend all swimming professionals, do their due diligence but for now let’s just stick to the basics.
Music helps small children with patterning, timing and sequencing skills, is scientifically proven to develop temporal awareness skills and much much more. Why aren’t more swimming schools using it? Isn’t that beneficial to our swimming development in all ages?
Let’s look at other benefits: Music also assist children with listening skills, communication and social interaction. It can really enrich the aquatic experience, help children to relax or stimulate or enthuse a child and of course my favorite, music can create the right (invisible) vibe, the right energy for a master swim teacher, a swim school or a successful swimming program. If you don’t believe me, just check out your parent’s feet, once the aquarobics starts up. (That is, of course if your aqua teacher Lifeguard training understands the power of great music)
According to Monica Anzueto (Mexico)
“Many swim programs around the world use children songs in baby and infant swimming sessions, but this is not music, music involves all senses and brings us the opportunity to respond to it through other sensory channels, we combine swimming and music and call it our magic class”.
“All countries have beautiful traditional songs, many instructors have already included them in their baby programs but for the many swimming teachers, who do not feel comfortable with singing, couldn’t music be used as the perfect replacement?
Why stop at learn to swim lessons?
“The medical profession in America has been using music interventions for years” Music interventions can be designed to promote wellness, manage stress alleviate pain, express feelings, enhance memory, improve communication and promote physical rehabilitation”
So I say why stop at the swimming lessons, if people are coming to your swimming pool for rehabilitation and relaxation: supplement your swim pool environment with music.
(Word of caution though, if you start implementing more music and musical themes into your program, whether you purchase music or make your own compilations, ensure you contact APRA or your countries similar office for all necessary licensing approval prior to staring.)