We are all born possessing certain gifts and talents, and parents play a vital role in harnessing these gifts. Of course, not all children who love music will become prodigies, and as parents, we shouldn't let this be our goal. Rather, if you have a child who seems to be interested in music, there are simple ways to further stimulate your child's interest. Instilling the love of music in your little one is easier than you think. Here are some helpful suggestions to get you started.
Time Required: Ongoing
- Sing to your child. Yes, even though you believe you can't carry a tune, your child will still think you have a lovely voice. When I became pregnant I read an article about the significance of music to children, there are findings that even a fetus responds to music while still in the mother's womb. So when I was just two months pregnant with my daughter, I sang to her everyday. I continued to do this even when my daughter was born. Whether you believe the research or not, there's no harm in singing to your child.
- Dance with your child. Okay, I know some of you might say you can't dance but neither can I. Honestly, it doesn't matter, your child will enjoy and even be fascinated to see you dance. Put on your favorite music CD and dance with your kid, this way you're introducing her to the joys of music and creating a happy memory at the same time (not to mention burning off calories).
- Teach them action songs. Kids love these types of songs; my daughter and I have loads of fun doing this. There are lots of action songs you and your child can learn together. Some examples are "London Bridge is Falling Down," "Ring Around the Rosy" and my absolute favorite, "Skidamarink." There are CD's and tapes of action songs that come with lyrics and instruction booklets. Or you can be creative and make your own actions. Action songs are a great way to teach kids about rhythm and other musical concepts.
- Share with them your favorite songs. Both my parents loved to sing and I remember hearing music being played at our home everyday when I was young. As a result, I was exposed to different types of music and various artists at a young age. Exposing your child to your favorite songs will help her understand that there are varying types of music for her to appreciate.
- Rent, buy or borrow books, videos and CD's that revolve around the subject of music. After I gave birth to my daughter, I decided to start buying CD's for her and played it as often as I could. I chose CD's that featured great musicians like Mozart and Beethoven as well as famous children's songs. I also borrowed DVD's from a rental store; movies like "The Muppet Show"and "The Sound of Music." There are also good children's TV shows that can help introduce your child to music. This is a wonderful way of teaching her the significance of music in our world.
- Join parent-child classes available in your area that introduces the concepts of music in a fun way. There are some great music education programs out there, one of which is called Kindermusik where they incorporate music into the curriculum and has take-home materials to ensure parent involvement.
- If appropriate, take her to local concerts. I took my daughter to a major concert when she was around 4 years old and was amused at her wide-eyed look while she watched the artists on stage. Be sure though that if you do take your child to a concert, you'll sit far away from the speakers as the noise will be too much for a kid to handle. Concerts are a great way to introduce your child to performers and musical instruments.
- If your child is interested in learning how to play an instrument, do encourage her by enrolling her in music lessons. Make sure you pick a teacher that has a rapport or connects well with your child and one who is specifically trained to teach children.
What You Need
- Creativity and imagination
- Music CDs for children
- DVDs of movie musicals for children
- Read along-books about composers, instruments, etc.
- Musical TV shows for children
- Local newspaper to check schedule of concerts and music porgrams in your area