"Let's start at the very beginning...
a very good place to start..."
how do you explain music to a child? You may begin with something along the lines of saying that music is what we hear in movies, in videos online and in tv shows.
You may find yourself rambling about instruments, music classes you had as a kid and telling your child that you played the cello in middle school…
And there you both are, your child observing you quietly while you struggle where to begin. But before you can start singing, Do a deer a female deer, your kid abruptly shifts the conversation to the "booboo" that they have on their arm.
After administering the proper healing kisses on the "booboo", you find yourself revisiting the conversation and realizing how much your kid has been singing and dancing and writing their own songs. You may have even sat through a couple of living room performances of original songs. And now that you think about it, your household has amassed a small collection of egg shakers, drums and a plastic(untunable) ukulele. You realize that your child’s personality and interest in music are growing are just not sure where to start planting seeds with a music education for your child.
to begin with,
relax and pat yourself on the back!
You’ve already been doing a lot of wonderfully musical things to encourage your child’s love for music.
Acknowledging and recognizing their blossoming interest in music is a huge step, but let’s not forget all the sweet moments of music seeds you have been planting in your child's brain such as singing lullabies/kids songs with them. Or hearing Let Go sung 8 million times. Or hearing the shrieking tones of the plastic recorder that somehow always finds itself into toy collections...
In fact, you deserve a heaping bowl of ice cream or a glass of wine for all of your concerted effort!
If you are here, I am guessing that you well of inspiration in the musical department may have run dry, if so, there are a few more activities that you can do with you little musician at home:
Teach them to whistle Whistling is just one interesting way that you can introduce the concepts of using your body as an instrument. From teaching them how to position their lips to getting the right air-stream to create the pitch, your child will be fascinated by this activity.
Listen to music throughout the Day! Play music throughout the day according to their schedule and activities. From play-time, clean-up, meal-time and even nap time, music of all genres are sure to help transition your child through their day.
Let them play instruments Maybe you have an old guitar or a trumpet from band in college? Give your child monitored time to touch and explore the instrument. You can explain the materials and listen to the types of music you find the instrument played. You can even research to see if your City Orchestra offers a “Petting Zoo Activity” like the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has been known to do in my home town of Atlanta, Georgia.
Take them to a concert! It can be as simple as your local restaurant where a musician is playing covers or you can take them on a city adventure to discover local musicians busking on the streets or to a local Middle School chorus concert. Start taking them to live music performances where they can experience the energy of a crowd as well as the precision of the musicians. They will also be exposed to many types of instruments and styles of music.
Draw or color Music Activity Pages There are lots of online resources for early childhood music education where you can work on learning about instruments through coloring activities!