Thursday, October 19, 2017

Smart Ideas for Easy Music Lessons

If you were told that from the time your child is born, if you did one simple, enjoyable, easy thing each day that your child would more likely be more intelligent, calmer, more focused, and healthier, would you do it? While it might sound on the outside to be a scam, it is actually possible through engaging your child in music. Research has shown that music is vital to enhanced brain activity. Children who are exposed to various forms of music score better on test and exams, are calmer, and physically feel healthier.

Newer research even claims the Mozart Effect, where certain pieces of music by Mozart or others from the Baroque period have amazing influences on various behaviors and actions of children. Have you ever thought about why music is played over speakers in office buildings, on public transportation systems, in elevators, and even at hospitals and clinics? Music has an overwhelming ability to positively influence our brains. With all of the research and evidence supporting the power of music, it really does exemplify the importance of parents and caregivers infusing music into the lives of children.

Music Activities, Crafts, and Games for Kids

The most effective ways to teach children anything is to get them engaged as active learners. When it comes to music, you can incorporate it into their lives from the first day.

Babies

  • Play music for your infant and newborn (the radio is a great option – you don’t have to actually play Mozart pieces yourself on the piano).
  • Pay attention to how your baby reacts to different forms of music. My son at age 1 month was an avid fan of Elvis – Blue Suede Shoes – to be exact.
  • Sing to your baby. The best part is you don’t have to in line for a record contract for your infant to love hearing your voice.
  • Dance with your baby. Music can be similar to the familiar and comforting rhythm of a heartbeat, and dancing is putting that sound into action.

Toddlers and Preschoolers

  • Continue all of those great traditions with music that began when your baby first came home.
  • Keep sound-makers on hand for your toddler so he can experiment making his own music. Rattles, squeakers, tubs for drums, child-safe keyboards, maracas, and inexpensive plastic flutes are great items with which to fill the toy box.
  • Expose your toddler to various music styles. Go to music in the park days, listen to musicians give performances at schools and community events, and sit near the musicians in church.
  • Make music a part of your routines – sing a song while you help him brush his teeth, belt out some fun tunes while cleaning up toys, or sing and dance with them as you move to bath-time.
  • Incorporate music with traditions – Christmas carols, birthday songs, or music that reflects your heritage.
  • Make up silly songs together – it is a great way to experiment with rhythm, rhyming, and beat.
  • Utilize technology with video games like Major Minor’s Majestic March (Wii), a great way for young kids to experience tempo and varieties of instruments. We have this one and it is a fun and educational addition to our collection.
  • Play traditional music games like Musical Chairs, London Bridge, and All Around the Mulberry Bush.

Beyond Preschool

  • Encourage your child to experiment with various instruments.
  • Provide opportunities for music lessons at whatever levels fit your child’s needs.
  • Expose your child to culturally rich and diverse musical options.
  • Keep musical traditions flowing in your family.
  • Keep music accessible in your home – play soft music with dinner, have fun CDs in the van, and allow your kids to have music in their bedrooms.
  • Encourage them to keep moving with music. Our teens like Wii Music for creative ways to virtually try instruments and read music.

Fun and Easy Ways to Make Music

Homemade Guitar

This easy craft involves taking a box – shoe box size is great – and helping your child slide rubber bands of various widths and lengths over the width of the box (over the open side of the box, or if the box is closed, over a hole you cut).

Rain Stick

Teach your kids about Central American traditions with this easy craft. Take a long, empty paper towel tube and cover one end with paper, then duct tape. Have your child help measure and fill the tube with a combination of dried rice and small balls of crumpled aluminum foil (about 1/3 of the volume of the tube). Cover and tape the other end, and let you child decorate the outside of the tube with markers and stickers.

Flying Maracas

We call these flying maracas at our house because they remind the kids of what they imagine flying saucers would look like. Take two paper plates. Have your child place a handful of dried beans, bottle caps, aluminum pop can tabs, or even paperclips on one of the plates. Place the other plate over the top of the first, creating a pocket between the two with the loose items inside. Staple the edges thoroughly and let you child decorate the plates.

Ringing Bells

Head to your local craft store and get a supply of bells, either traditional ones or jingle bells, in varying sizes. See if your child can arrange them in musical order (size is a clue). Then attempt to ring out basic tunes like Mary Had a Little Lamb. Your child can take ribbon pieces and make handles for the bells as well.

Related posts:

  1. Why Your Child Shouldn’t Take Formal Music Lessons
  2. 5 Fun Ideas for Family Date Night
  3. 7 Lessons Our Kids Teach Us

View full post on Parenting Tips For Raising Successful Kids | BetterParenting.com

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