Today, we have a guest post from Melissa Rhone, who has offered to share her thoughts on adding music to your child’s life! I hope you enjoy.
5 Fun Ways to Add Music to Your Child’s Life
Studies show that music is vital in the development of children’s minds and music abilities. Fortunately, you don’t need extensive musical training to incorporate music into a child’s life. Here are five fun activities you can try together at even early developmental ages:
Humming “Rock-a-bye Baby” may not be a cure for everything, but parents across the globe can attest to the fact that music calms fussy babies. Singing to your child encourages him or her to begin babbling in an effort to mimic your words. Once your children are able to talk on their own, sing songs together! Favorites like “Old MacDonald” and “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” teach children about animals, sounds, colors, patterns and more. You can also encourage your youngling to sing along with an instrument with a tambourine, whistle or kids drum set, found at retailers like these.
2. Create homemade instruments.
Kids love to create, so another option is to make your own musical instruments. You can use materials that would otherwise be thrown away or recycled. For example, you can use tissue boxes and rubber bands to make guitars and empty oatmeal canisters to make drums. You can also put dried beans inside empty coffee cans and snap on the lids to make maracas. Don’t have time to make homemade instruments? Put on your own version of the hit theatrical show Stomp and use everyday items like brooms, buckets, and plastic bottles as percussion instruments.
3. Take advantage of cheap (and free!) concerts.
Purchasing expensive concert tickets for kids isn’t a wise idea. The music may be too loud, the crowds may be too large, and the shows may be too long to keep their attention; you may find yourself having to leave within the first fifteen minutes. Even so, that doesn’t mean you need to forgo live performances until your kids are older. Instead, check your local newspaper or community website for low-cost or free events that are taking place in your area. Live music is common at many outdoor festivals, which often have free admission. High school marching bands generally perform at local high school football games each week, too! Children love clapping, singing and dancing while they are in the audience, and local performers get a kick out of the attention. You’ll also be able to slip away fairly easily when the tears fall or potty breaks are necessary.
4. Attend a ballet or dance recital.
Going to see The Nutcracker is a favorite holiday tradition for many families. Even if you’re unable to attend a professional performance put on by a dance company, many colleges, universities, and dance schools perform this classic each holiday for a discounted price. There are also many other types of dances to enjoy with your family besides ballet. Tap, jazz, hip hop, and cultural dance performances are exciting for kids as well as adults. The costumes range from basic to elaborate, and the performers will entertain you with their fancy footwork.
5. Read child-friendly biographies about composers, musicians, or dancers.
Why not use bedtime stories as mini-history lessons? Read a book about composers, musicians, or dancers with your child. When it’s time to turn off the lights, listen to a soothing song that the person you read about wrote or performed. These types of books and accompanying CDs are usually available at public libraries or at online at stores like Amazon.
These are just a few of the many ways to add music to your child’s life. Depending on their age, your kids may even enjoy group music classes, one-on-one lessons, dance classes and more. Get creative, and additional ideas are sure to come to mind!
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music from The University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about music, education, pop culture, parenting, and epilepsy awareness.