6.01.2008

Ways to Create Music Loving Kids

As my daughter gets closer to reaching her 2nd birthday, I see the importance of music in her everyday life. Music surrounds us in all that we do and can enrich our lives no matter what our age. Scientists believe that while in the womb, a baby can hear and respond to music with movement. I attended summer music classes while I was pregnant and I noticed that louder and lower sounding tones caused my daughter to kick more. A metronome used during one of my conducting classes really set her off one morning. Her kicks were so rhythmic and almost in time. I was quite surprised and impressed.

Music provides us with opportunities to strengthen bonds between parent and child it also gives us something to smile about as we share the joy of song and melody. Sharing music with your child can be relatively inexpensive and very rewarding. So how do you get started? Here are just some of the many ideas out there. Be creative and have fun!

Sing Your Heart Out

Don't be afraid to let your child hear you sing, even if you aren't the most confident singer. The sound of your voice will please your child and give him the courage to try out a favorite kid music song of his own. Try singing a favorite song from your childhood, one of your favorite rock ‘n roll tunes or make up something as you go along. In the end, it doesn’t matter what you sing as long as you are sharing your enthusiasm!

Listen To The Beat

Listen closely to your surroundings and you hear that almost everything in life has a beat or rhythm to it. As you go through your day, point out the beats that you hear and try to recreate them. Show your child how to use his hands or voice to mimic the sounds he hears. Kids love being your copycat and you sneak in some ear-eye-hand coordination practice.

Break Out The Kid Music Band

Make instruments available and let your child experience what it’s like to play them. One of the first things I couldn't wait to get my daughter was a music percussion set that included a drum, drumsticks, tambourine and shakers. Each time we play with it she gets more and more confident in her ability to keep the beat and make music. She also likes regular piano playing time and she's not even 2. Don't underestimate your child's ability to make music. Even if the result is less than perfect, the musical moment you have helped to create will build her self-confidence and expand her ever growing imagination. A simple band of pot, pans and cooking utensils can bring out your inner drummer even in the most reserved child.

Expand Your Taste in Music

Change things up and listen to a radio station you have never listened to before or try out a new Album. If you usually listen to oldies in the car or around the house, try some classical or the alternative rock station for a change of pace. Take your family to a free concert in the park, a performance by the your local high school or check out one of the many Cd's at your local library and listen to them together. You might find, to your surprise, new music that you never would have let yourself listen to before that you actually like. Find out more about your new favorite artist online and learn about how they create.

Praise Their Efforts

Not every child has Mozart like musical ability but enthusiastic participation deserves plenty of praise and encouragement. All children, whether gifted with musical talents or not, can enjoy music and be enriched by it if they feel the confidence to participate with joy. Who hasn't heard someone who can’t seem to sing in tune or quite reach all the notes but make up for it with the enjoyment they project? And, in the end, who really cares if it makes their heart sing and brings a smile?

A love of music is an important gift that we can all bestow upon every child in our lives. Some of the best childhood memories can be those involving kids music, from the family singing together in worship to the excitement of learning a new instrument. With a simple hum or few bars sung, we can elicit a smile, tapping toe or other happy response. If you don’t believe it, try whistling your child’s favorite song and see what happens!


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