Studies have shown that music is an art that helps children excel in school, be creative, express themselves and enjoy life. As my 7 year old so eloquently stated “music makes the whole world light up.” I love the way music makes me feel and gets me moving. Here are a few ideas to teach your children to love music. Enjoy!
Always have music playing when it is not family time, quiet time, homework time or bedtime. On different days have different genres playing in your home. Thursday is Pop, Friday is Jazz, Saturday is Classical, etc. Listen to all kinds of music so they can appreciate all kinds and choose what they like.
Let your children hear you sing around the house and in the car. Let them see your love of music, how music makes you feel. Then sing together.
Play music games like “repeat that beat” and “name that tune.” Make up clapping and stomping beats and have your child repeat the beat. Hum a popular tune and see if your child can name it.
Turn off the TV and turn on the radio. While doing chores or cooking listen to music out loud, not with earphones. Sing and dance to the music, let your children see how happy music makes you, even while cleaning your room. Let them see it makes the chore a little easier and helps the time go by. Let them see you having fun!
As you play a certain song ask how many instruments they can recognize and name. Get excited when they can identify a saxophone, harp or acoustic guitar.
Let them hear the music you loved as a child. Try to find the number one songs when you were born on the internet and play it for them. Try to find your favorite songs when you were in high school or college. I loved that when my daughter was 3 she could recognize and request Stevie Wonder or Journey.
Dance with your children, have a dance contest! Let them pick a song for that day and dance the night away. Let them see you not being afraid to feel the music and move to it. Move furniture, spin them around, have fun!
Start a band with homemade instruments using pots and wooden spoons, paper plates and cups with elbow noodles. Put on a concert for the rest of the family or pretend you are in a marching band. Please remember to videotape these special memories!
Let them pick an instrument they may want to play and take lessons. You may have to try a few different ones to see what peaks their interest. Most schools will let the child try out an instrument before committing. For years my son wanted to play the drums until he tried the trumpet. Now he is a member of the school band’s trumpet section.