It’s probably not news to you that music is really good for your child. It enhances all forms of learning, and it seems as though there’s always a new study being released on how it makes kids smarter, benefits brain development, etc. So what are some ways that we as parents can give our children access to all these benefits and raise a musical child?
Here are a few ideas from this piano teacher and mom.
Enroll in parent-child music classes.
My children and I both participated in Music Together classes, a lovely, organic format that exposes kids to lots of worldly music as they discover the joy in making music together. We’ve also enjoyed Music Lingua classes as a way to expose [all of] us to a new language.
These programs ARE pricey. If they’re not in your budget, check out my super affordable Busy Preschoolers Do Music course. Visit a story time at the library, which often includes nursery rhymes and finger plays.
Nurture your child’s own natural musical interests.
My kids were never much into the many nursery rhyme collections we played during car rides (not that I’m complaining). When my daughter was 3, my mom sang her an Elvis Presley song while putting her to bed, and she wanted to see a video of the guy who sang the song Grammy had sung. After viewing a performance on YouTube, she was in love with all things Elvis, and would much rather watch Blue Hawaii than a Disney Princess movie any day.
My son, on the other hand, is obsessed with the King of Pop. He knows all the words to all the Michael Jackson songs, and all the choreography to all the dances. My point? If there is a musician or artist your child falls in love with, celebrate and support it!
Participate in music making together.
To raise a musical child, it’s not enough to just LISTEN to music. Giving the brain a real workout requires actually creating music. Even prior to formal music lessons, keep rhythm instruments such as tambourines, shakers, gathering drums and wooden blocks around your house and play and sing together.
Rather than letting your kids zone out on the iPads on long trips, keep some shakers in the car and have them play rhythms along with the music you’re blasting.
Attend musical events together.
The ballet is a wonderful way of exposing your child to the beauty of classical music. Many symphonies offer a children’s symphony, geared with exciting music that kids might find accessible – such as the Star Wars theme or Disney favorites.
Your concert-going endeavors need not be expensive. check out local artists performing at coffee shops or farmers markets.
Formal music lessons.
You had to know this one was coming, right? I am a piano teacher, after all. But truly, I can think of no better extra curricular to commit your time and resources to than music lessons for your kiddo. It literally changes your child’s brain. (I love this quick read from the Royal Conservatory that outlines the tremendous benefits of music lessons.)
To raise a musical child is to open up a whole new world of artistry and beauty. Enjoy discovering new things together and have fun along the journey!