Having grown up with music all around me and now being a music instructor, I have never known life without it! However many parents have remarked to me that they did not grow up with music but want to make sure their child does. With all the benefits that music offers, many parents are eager to expose their children to music! Here are a few ways to nurture your child’s love and interest in music.
Enjoy live music
Check out local music events in your community. Many festivals are family friendly like the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. Even the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra offers concert going experiences tailored to the interests and attention span of young listeners. Hearing and seeing live music is a thrilling experience and it might provide the spark that ignites your child’s interest in making music!
Dive into your collection of music and share some of your favorite artists with your child. Search through iTunes, YouTube, or even online radio stations such as Songza to expand your musical world! The more genres your child is exposed to, the richer and varied their own musical vocabulary will become. Think of how different the swing rhythms of jazz are in contrast to the hard driving rhythms of rock!
Bang a drum (or a pot)!
Grab a pot and a wooden spoon and start drumming. Everyday household items can easily be transformed into percussion instruments. If you do have a guitar or a piano at home, plunk around on it and chances are your child will be interested in playing too. Introducing instruments in a playful and unstructured way is perfect for the young child.
Share a story
There are many beautiful storybooks with musical themes that are perfect for book and music lovers of all ages. Some of my favourites are:
- Gus and Me by Keith Richards
- Knick Knack Paddy Whack by Steve Songs
- Johann Sebastian Bach by Mike Venezia
- Jimi Sounds Like A Rainbow by Gary Golio
- Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens
Make up songs or rhymes about your daily activities using your own tunes or familiar tunes. (Think of singing “clean up, clean up all your toys” to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle!) Incorporating music into daily tasks is an easy way to get your children singing. Not only is everyone making music but you can also add a little sparkle to the daily routine!
Grab your dancing shoes
When in doubt, dance! Put on your favorite dance tune and get moving. Dancing relieves stress, increases energy levels and releases feel good endorphins. It’s a perfect way to put everyone in a good mood! Some of my favourite dance tunes are:
- Uptown Funk Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson
- Johnny B. Goode Chuck Berry
- William Tell Overture Finale Gioachino Rossini
- Sing, Sing, Sing Benny Goodman
- Lukey’s Boat Traditional
Happy music making!