Music For Children
There is absolutely no doubt about the benefits of music. Music appeals to us all, on so many different levels that even babies can respond and enjoy it!
Mother & toddler/baby classes whose focus is the early enjoyment and interpretation of music are always incredibly popular – probably because not only do the children enjoy it, but the adults do too!
With the music, usually comes an introduction to instruments as well – lots of banging, clanging, shaking and of course singing is great for the soul and an enormous learning experience for children. Just think of all the key areas of learning and development that music touches upon: counting, language, rhyme, rhythm, listening, communicating, socialising, co-ordination, concentration, memory… the list goes on and I expect you can probably think of many more.
One of the best things too, is that you can do any number of simple activities whenever the mood takes you and your child and wherever you are! At home, in the car, in the shopping trolley (a good distraction when they are getting bored!), at teatime, bath time, pretty much any time!
To get you started, you could try some of these activities:
Clapping –sing nursery rhymes and create your own music and rhythms by clapping to the beat
Drumming – for a slightly quieter session, opt for cereal boxes (rather than saucepans!) and wooden spoons
Marching – this can be great fun and gets everyone giggling – choose your own songs to march to whilst singing or even better, if you like classical music, choose a rousing piece of marching music such as Strauss’ ‘Radetsky March’ (this is also a good way to introduce classical music, which can be fun too!)
Singing – to anything in the car that is either on the radio or your own CD or just teach them a simple song you know – better still make one up!
Dancing – go with the flow and let them experiment with free movement and expression to any music that is on the radio or something you have chosen to listen to – you may find a budding ballerina or break dancer on your hands!
Essentially, the message with music is keep it simple and fun.
Make your own shakers, blow a whistle or recorder if you have one, strum a guitar (make your own from a tissue box and elastic bands), play the keys on the piano and make music part of your and their lives. Everyone will be richer for it and at the same time, children will be developing key skills for life such as self-confidence and awareness, teamwork, imagination, emotional and intellectual development.