Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nurture Your Child’s Inner Musician, Part 1

All children are musical! It is hard to find a Mommy or Daddy that does not agree with this statement. All children are born with much music-making potential! If this is true, why don’t we see most grown ups making music for fun, playing in bands or dancing for the joy of it?

The ability to make music is our birthright. This ability, however, is not an inborn “talent”. Just as a child who is learning to speak needs lots of reinforcement and an environment rich with language, the process of blossoming into a music-maker also needs an environment that is musically rich with lots of opportunities for babble and play. A child’s budding musical growth needs nurturing to blossom and grow.

Here are a few ways to create a super rich music atmosphere for your child:

· Sing, sing, sing! Sing songs with and to your child. Sing about what you are doing or where you are going. Change the words to songs to make them your own. Sing in the car and at bath time, but most importantly, sing at bedtime. The lullaby can be sweet, calming musical magic.

· Dance party! Put on your favorite music and dance! It is fun to dance with baby, but it is also really awesome for our little ones to see us dancing for our own enjoyment as well!

· Kitchen Jam! Have a kitchen play along by turning plastic bowls upside down and use wooden spoons for mallets. Fill empty plastic water bottles will beans and glue them closed for shakers. Put on fun music and play, play, play!

· Instrument Jam! It is also great to have a basket of assorted child safe instruments; eggs, sticks, drums, tambourine and triangles and create a fun ritual of family jam time. Any music that you and your child enjoy will work.

· Go to a show: attend live music performances, many are outside and free. At the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Art’s Sunday A’Fair, children get to be outside with other music lovers and are free to dance to their little heart’s content. The Phoenix Symphony has a series of child friendly concerts to attend

· Join a weekly music class that is appropriate for little ones!

Making music with your child helps them to grow up as music-makers and creates bonds that last a lifetime.

Kathy Rowe,MA in Music Education, Center Director, Music Together in Phoenix

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