We are born to be musicians! Research has proven that babies can show preference for melodic patterns they have heard in utero, that music aids a young child’s language development, and that toddlers move in response to sound. Exposure is key to developing your child’s musical intelligence. Don’t miss out!
1. Attend a parent/child music class. Bonding with your child through music is a great way for them to learn when to play or move and stop in response to songs, when to play fast or slow, soft and loud. Try our class, Little Music Makers, today!
2. Tracking sound. If your child is very young (hand held infant), he or she may not be able to grasp an instrument, but can certainly track sound using their eyes. Try this: take a shaker, bells or even a set of keys. Move the instrument (while shaking), around your baby’s head. Watch as he or she follows the sound!
3. Sing to your child. You may feel that you don’t have the best voice, but your child prefers your voice. It’s the voice of the person he or she loves most. So snuggle down and croon away!
4. Teach your baby about cause and effect. Use socks or wrist bands that have bells and fix them to your child’s feet or wrist. Watch as he or she discovers that her feet and hands can make sound!
5. Practice grasp. Give your child a shaker to hold and help them practice their grasp.
6. Teach safe instrument play. Show your child that strumming a guitar or other string instrument is the appropriate way to play. Many toddlers play all instruments by hitting them. Use a hand over hand prompt to teach your child about proper instrument play.
7. Teach them to keep a steady beat. 4-5 year olds are developing this ability. Use a shared drum or table to practice tapping a steady beat.
8. Do Fill in the Blank Songwriting. Sing old McDonald. When you get to “ee-i-ee-i…” don’t sing oh. Wait to see if your child responds. This is a great way to facilitate speech development. When they become more advanced, ask them to give you animal names or sounds.
9. If you know the musical alphabet, place labels on the piano and ask your toddler to name each letter. When he or she has mastered this, take the letters away and ask him or her to put them on the keyboard in the correct order.
10. Teach your child about loud, soft, slow and fast, stop and go. Use instruments or movement to do this. Sing “ play slow, slow, slow” while you play or use other appropriate lyrics.