Music can be beneficial to children in many different ways. Playing or listening to music can be an enjoyable thing to do together, a way for children to learn new skills, develop their creativity, and explore their emotions. If your child has shown an interest in becoming a musician, how can you best support them?
Encourage Listening Skills:
Getting children to begin to enjoy exploring music can be a fun thing for the two of you to do together. As you listen to music, ask your child to describe to you what they can hear so they can start to work on their listening skills. Choose a piece of music you think they will like and ask them questions as you listen. Ask them questions like:
- What sounds can you hear?
- How would you describe this piece of music?
- How does this piece of music make you feel?
Having these conversations can also help your child to begin to build their communication skills as they find the right words to describe things to you.
Play Along To Music:
Children love making noise, and a musical instrument along with something like Moon River sheet music can be a good way to channel that interest in noise into something more creative. Encourage them to play along with a song they enjoy so they can think about the different parts of the music. Suggest they try to play as loudly and then as quietly as they can with different ways of making sound such as clapping or tapping a pan with a spoon.
Another fun game to help them to build an understanding of beat and volume is to ‘wake’ a sleeping toy. Using one of their stuffed animals, ask the child to wake it up by playing loudly and make the toy go to sleep by playing softly. You could also move the toy around in time with the beat.
Move To Music:
Children often really love to dance, and you can support this with an enjoyment of music. Tempo is the speed in music, and children can get a good grasp of what this means by exploring it with their movements. Put on music and encourage your child to move as they listen. Watch to see what they do, then join in with them by copying their ideas. By mimicking their ideas, they will see that you value and are interested in what they think.
For some children, physically responding to the music might feel more natural than playing instruments or talking about music. Offer them lots of different genres of music to listen to and see how they respond and move to different kinds of music. You might be surprised by what they actually enjoy the most. Music that has a range of tempos in it can be great fun.
Try listening to music from around the world too, from a range of cultures. This is a good way to explore music and encourage them to have a conversation with you about different cultures too.
Whether your child wants to be a rock star, a dancer, or just loves to listen to music, supporting this will be amazing fun for the both of you!
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