Five Ways to Make Music with Your Family
Marin Mommies presents a sponsored article from Sing Dance Play, which offers early childhood music and movement classes in Novato, San Rafael, Tiburon, and Mill Valley.
Most parents understand the value of music for children. It supports development of language, concentration, social skills, confidence, pattern recognition, self-esteem and critical executive functions. And it’s fun! You can tap into this rich source of joy, bonding and skill development, even if you don’t consider yourself musical.
Many adults don’t make music with their children in everyday life because they lack confidence in their own musical skills. Parents and caregivers—regardless of their own musical ability—are a child’s most important teachers. Children don’t learn the skills of singing from their parents and caregivers. They learn the love of singing.
Here are some tips from Music Together® to help you begin your child’s musical journey:
- Just sing and dance with your child! The best thing you can do to start your child on the road to a lifelong love of music is to participate enthusiastically in music activities yourself. Have you ever noticed how children instinctively imitate older siblings and grownups? Imitation is an powerful learning strategy. If you read books, your children will want to read. If you sing and dance, they will, too. And don’t just put on a CD. Sing, bang a drum, get up and dance. Your pitch doesn’t have to be perfect, and you may miss some words or steps. It’s about showing your child your enjoyment of making music.
- Sing lullabies. Young children love to hear their grownups sing to them. The sound of your voice is soothing to your child. A lullaby provides a time to be close physically, emotionally, and musically. Lullabies can transform bedtime into an oasis of loving calm.
- Take cues from your child and respond musically. If your baby or toddler “coos” on a pitch, echo it back. If your child sings in the car or when you are out walking, sing with her! If your child brings an instrument to you, try to stop what you are doing and play along.
- Make it a family affair. Make music as a family with siblings, caregivers, grandparents and babysitters. Have a dance party or a sing-along. Get out pots and pans and form a band. Gather around the piano. Imagine the joy of setting your devices aside for a time to engage musically with one another. As technology proliferates, we’re in danger of losing the personal interaction so important to children’s growth and human connectedness.
- Bring your child to an early childhood music program, such as Music Together classes with Sing Dance Play. Young children learn best in a playful, informal environment. A good class offers children a rich musical repertoire to actively explore, along with the support and modeling of the grownups they love. A music class is a fun activity that the whole family can participate in. And, attending class might just bring out your inner musician as well as your child’s.
Sing Dance Play of Marin offers Music Together for babies to age 5.
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