Are your children comfortable with the sound of music? They should be. Music is a universal language that crosses borders and allows your children to make connections that will last a lifetime.
Music boosts brain power, improves memory, increases social ability, builds confidence, teaches patience, encourages self-expression, and teaches disciple. Your children need music.
If your kids struggle with illiteracy or have a lack of concentration and creativity, help them discover music. Regular exposure to music offers your children an outlet to explore and embrace something that will stick with them throughout life.
Are you pregnant? Let your child listen to music. Your unborn child will begin to hear—and internalize—different patterns. Hold earphones up to your belly and play classical music.
Once your child is born, keep playing the music to help the synapses in your newborn’s brain turn on. The synapses used in classical music are similar to those used in reasoning. If you help encourage brain synapses to turn on, your children’s brain should develop at a reasonable rate.
As your children age and begin school, make it a point to play classical music during homework time. The more classical music your child listens to, the better.
Do you like to sing? Start singing everywhere. Your children will learn pitch by listening to your voice. If you worry you don’t have the vocal chops to act as their mentor, don’t worry. If you can carry a tune, your voice will have a positive influence on your children and help them internalize the importance of proper pitch.
If you notice one of your children loses control over their voice during a song, don’t assume they’re tone deaf. Many parents base their children’s musicality on their ability to sing. You don’t have to be able to sing to learn—and master—a musical instrument. Instead of making assumptions, sign your children up for music lessons so they can learn more about rhythm, beat, and pitch from a professional.
Clapping allows children to learn rhythm. Encourage your children to clap along as you sing or listen to music. Some popular songs to clap to include the following:
- “If You’re Happy and You Know It”
- “Mary Had a Little Lamb”
- “Skip to My Lou”
- “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”
These songs have a simple rhythm and won’t overwhelm your children. Whenever you hear a new song, gather your kids and clap the rhythm together.
Couple movement with song, and your children will understand the connection between body motion and music. Dance, march, twirl, sway, hop, or glide to the different songs on the radio. Once your children understand the connection music has with movement, they will be prepared to play an instrument.
The majority of musical ability develops from birth through age 11. After that, the window for developing certain musical abilities closes. If you want your children to learn a musical instrument, start early. Don’t wait until the teen years.
If your kids can concentrate for 30 minutes, they can learn an instrument. Usually, children reach that level of concentration before they turn six years old. Enroll your children in musical courses to help them develop the musical abilities that adults can’t seem to grasp in later years.
Most children begin with “starter” instruments, including the following:
Visit a music store with your child and let them pick an instrument. Most stores let you rent starter instruments for a reasonable rate.
Once you’ve chosen an instrument and found a good teacher, you need to motivate your child to practice. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it certainly helps your child improve day by day.
30 minutes is the standard practice time most teachers recommend. Encourage your kids to practice for 30 minutes every single day. If they don’t want to practice on the weekend, compromise. Let your children practice for 20 minutes on Saturday and 10 minutes on Sunday.
Most children hate practicing. Don’t give in to discouragement. Don’t get frustrated. Keep yourself calm and sit by your child’s side during their practice time. Praise them. Let them know how proud you are of their ability to play a musical instrument.
Set long- and short-term goals so you can reward your child for their efforts. Let your children pick their own rewards (make sure they set reasonable rewards). And don’t forget to praise your child’s success.
If worse comes to worse, bribe your children. If they aren’t practicing, remind them they can get an extra helping of ice cream after dinner or pick the movie for family movie night if they practice for the set amount of time. Although bribing isn’t the best option, some parents consider it the only option.
Listen, sing, clap, move, learn, and practice. These are the six things that will help you children explore the wonderful world of music. Get them started today.