Saturday, February 25, 2012

6 Great Ways to Introduce Your Child to Music

You might have heard by now how music can be very ‘instrumental’ in your child’s development. It has been said that it can help with discipline and structure, as well as academic studies.

Understandably, you might want to introduce your children to music, but not quite sure how to do it. If so, you have come to the right place, because I plan on sharing some great ideas with you. They might even inspire some additional ideas as you read them.

I am doing this, because I love music and how it can benefit each of us throughout our entire lives. It’s not a temporary fad for some of us, as it can create some wonderful moments to treasure. Music is something that can develop throughout time into something great. A quote from W. H. Auden reminds of this:

“A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate; it goes on to become.”

I plan on encouraging my children to apply music to their lives. If you would like to as well, read on for some ideas on how you can easily, yet subtly do that.

1. Listen to Music Often

Whenever you can, listen to music. In the car we typically have some sing-along songs on, which also makes the car ride more enjoyable, especially on a long trip. If we are doing arts and crafts at home, we also have music playing, and I try to base our choice on their mood for that day.

We also started introducing them to music in the crib, with classical lullabies to fall asleep to while napping, or going to bed for the night. My kids thoroughly enjoy music, and I believe it’s a result from being exposed to it from day one.

2. Point out Special Music

If you hear a new song, a special concert on TV, or hear their favorite song walking through the mall, point it out to them. You can even subtly encourage them to hear background music when it’s playing, by tapping your fingers to the beat.

I once was at dinner with some friends when their daughter, aged 5, saw her mom tapping her fingers to the piano playing in the background. She asked right there if she could learn how to play the piano.

My point is, if you are subtly introducing them to music through your enthusiasm, it can be infectious to your young children.

3. Dance to the Rhythm

Dance is a great activity because it not only exposes the kids to music, but it’s a fun form of exercise. I will often turn on the radio while we are working around the house, and then take breaks for a little dancing with my daughter. My son has just recently shown interest, so it works.

As they move to the music, it gives them the opportunity to learn about beats and timing, which make up the measures of a song. Picking up that rhythm at a young age will help them later when learning how to read music.

4. Get the Family Involved

There are many ways to introduce the kids to music through family activities, such as:

*        Singing in the car while traveling
*        Form a ‘band’ for an evening
*        Dance to various styles
*        Attend concerts
*        Play musical chairs
*        Host a musical event or variety show for the family

Some of these activities are for younger kids, while some might be better for the older ones. You could also come up with your own. The key is to show your own enthusiasm for music, because they will respond to it.

5. Start Lessons

Lessons are probably in your future if your child wants to take up an instrument. Private lessons can add up quickly, but will give your child the individual attention that group lessons won’t give. If your child is shy, I wouldn’t recommend group lessons, because they might not speak up if they have questions.

If the budget does not allow for lessons, you might want to look into lessons online. They can learn to read music notes for piano, flute, or guitar through the website, which will save money. You won’t get the feedback like you would with live lessons, but it is an alternative.

6. Have a Family Instrument

By having an instrument in the home, one the entire family can play, it can subtly introduce your children to music. I am thinking of a piano for our home. It is an instrument that will be out in the open at all times, which makes it convenient for any of us to use at most any time.

It’s also a good introduction instrument. Playing another instrument will be different, but piano lessons will teach the basics as far as reading music. The recommended minimum age for starting piano is around 6, but will depend on the individual child of course. 

The way I look at it is that if I am playing it and showing my interest in piano, all while subtly encouraging my kids to join me it, could eventually entice them as well.

Whether it’s the piano, or some other instrument, kids learn from their parents. If you are showing an interest in it, they are more likely to pick up the interest as well. I will just end with this little story about my son and music, showing how kids emulate us…

My young son didn’t want to dance with me when I first mentioned it. But, two days later, after turning some music on and asking him, he was not only willing to dance with me to the music, but didn’t want us to stop!


Melissa Cameron lives in Texas with her husband and 2 children. Wanting the best for her children she understood the value of music in childhood development. She knew if her children could learn how to play the piano and she helped them learn to read music notes for piano that they would have a well-rounded foundation for a true love and appreciation for music.

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