Music is one of the best ways to bring out the best in your child. It fosters hope and imagination, and rekindles and stirs up good memories. It also gets your child moving and dreaming, and uplifts their spirits, and through doing so, helps them to overcome limitations in their thoughts. It also heals and restores through its melodies and lyrics.
Here are 10 ways you can purposefully open the way for more music (and more of music’s healing and restorative benefits) to enter into your child’s life.
10 Background Music
Music need not be invasive and it need not take center stage at every moment in your home. Background music can also establish a peaceful, restorative atmosphere in your home and can be played softly while your child is, for example, doing their homework.
Opt for classical music interludes or soft, jazzy nuances. Classical music is great for stimulating positive, peaceful brainwaves and will stimulate creativity and intellectual thought processes.
9 Formal Music Lessons
Learning to play an instrument is an invaluable opportunity for your child to learn many new skills, such as focus, discipline, and self-expression. What’s more, they will enjoy learning to play their own music and to connect with melodies and music in a meaningful way. There are many different instruments which children can learn to play: piano, keyboard, drums, saxophone, violin and guitar.
Let them find the instrument they best connect with. If finances are tight, start them on what you can afford as learning to read music and interpret it will stand them in good stead for learning other instruments, when finances allow for this. Schools also offer music lessons.
8 Sing In The Car
Some children are like little record players and start singing as soon as the car starts on the way to school. Others need encouragement. Why don’t you make it a tradition to sing more, especially when there is together time, like in the car on the way to school?
This can be a fun way to keep your child busy while driving and to get them in the right frame of mind for the school day ahead.
7 Go Karaoke-ing
Karaoke spots can be found in almost any community and offer a safe place to express one’s voice, without due criticism. Families and friends can visit these karaoke bars and sing together, and enjoy others’ singing, at relatively low costs (if there is a cost involved at all). Take your child or children along to one and enjoy singing duets or solos, or group songs – enjoying the music and the many memories it stirs up.
6 Build Up A Collection Of The Famous Musicals
There is nothing like ‘The Sound of Music’ to invigorate a child and lift them from complacency into a world where anything is possible. While some kids (the bigger ones) might cringe at the prospect of listening to musicals of The Sound of Music calibre, there are many which might suit their tastes, such as Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Annie, or Mary Poppins. Cats and Evita are a few suggestions which will accommodate the preferences of the more sophisticated budding musician. Grow a ‘musicals’ DVD collection and let your child watch what suits them.
5 Start A New Christmas Tradition
It’s almost the ‘Silly Season’ which means you have full permission to dream a little bigger and hope a little more for your child and for the family. Why not start a tradition of gathering around the piano to sing Christmas carols, or joining local church groups as they go out to sing carols, for example, the elderly. Children will enjoy the festive music and there is something uniting and uplifting about singing together by the piano, cup of cocoa in hand, on Christmas Eve. It’s a big think to ask but it is the Silly Season after all.
4 Teach Them To Listen
Half of the battle of building music appreciation in your child is to teach him or her to listen. This means teaching them to really hear and appreciate sound and melodies, and the impact these have on their hearts and spirits. Buying audio cassettes with stories, which require they listen to the story and to the music soundtracks, will help to fine-tune their hearing and encourage them to listen more attentively and appreciate music on a deeper level.
3 Ditch The Silence For An Hour Or Two
While it is nice to have silence in the home, why not designate a few hours each day to playing music in the house. Let the kids each have a day of the week to pick out the CD they want and have a two-hour music slot in the afternoons during which you turn up the volume slightly and set a vibrant, joyful atmosphere in your house. Music can transform a house into a real home.
2 Musical Games And Technology
There are many new innovative games which encourage music appreciate, such as the Music Rhythm Twister game, which is a variation of the traditional Twister game. There are also various music and dance mats available which light up and encourage your child to move their feet and bodies, in response to moving lights on mat. Visit your local toy store or surf the net for game options, as well as for various Apps which encourage singing and music appreciation.
1 Join The Choir
Encourage your child to participate in the school choir. This will give them the chance to learn vocal skills and listen to music in a non-threatening way. They will also learn to work as a team, and to harmonize their voice with others. Choirs also compete, giving your child the opportunity to travel with friends, and experience music on stage in a larger-than-life way. They will also learn some of the more classic songs through membership with a choir and will learn to appreciate variety in music style and genre.