Over the last few years of being associated with Furtados School of Music has made me quite aware of the importance of music education in our lives, especially in the lives of our children. Since then whenever I meet my friends who have kids, I urge them to enroll their children in a music school. Quite recently while I was imparting my new found wisdom of music education to a friend who has an 8 year old kid, she had her own set of challenges trying to enroll her child in a music class. Her child simply wouldn’t agree to join a music class no matter what reward they promised him. Well, just like my friend a lot of parents face similar kind of issues trying to enroll their kids in a music school. As an individual, parents are quite convinced about the importance of music education since childhood; however some of them find it difficult to impress upon their children. As a parent you have already realized this by now, that your kids have a mind of their own and no amount of out of the ordinary coaxing is going to convince them to like or learn something they don’t want to. But how about we try to approach this from a different perspective altogether. So rather than looking directly at music education as an end goal, how about as parents we start by getting them interested in music. And instead of following the old school approach of just preaching, how about we start the new approach of leading by example. How about as parents we share music with our children? Parents who occasionally drop by in our centers have given us some great pointers about ways to share the love for music with your child. And for them these pointers have been quite effective so far.
Listing below some of the ways through which you can share music with your child.
1. Sing Together
Let’s start with the premise that “Everybody loves music”. Choices might differ but everyone does enjoy music. Since the moment a baby is born it is consciously and subconsciously surrounded by music. Mothers singing a lullaby to their baby or the sound of a rattle or toy musical instrument playing some music. We can turn this into a conscious effort such as singing upbeat songs (don’t worry about how you sound), creating everyday household things into musical instruments. Also if you play a musical instrument, you can play tunes for your children. And while you are indulging in also invite them to sing along with you. This way you will be creating pleasant memories through music by surrounding them with it constantly.
2. Don’t forget to dance
Dance with your child. It doesn’t matter to them if you are great dancer or not. Just dance because it’s fun, it’s exciting & it’s a great way to release stress. There is rarely any greater joy than dancing together with your child on an upbeat song. Once you see they are enjoying this activity, you can even create your own coordinated movements on a particular song. It will be fun to do so.
3. Introduce them to all types of music
Everyone has their favorite type of music, however as parents you need to keep an open mind and introduce your kids to all types & genre of music. There is certainly a type of music that is meant for children but it shouldn’t stop you from introducing them to some jazz or techno music. Children don’t have a bias when it comes to listening to music. You can even play your favorite songs for them & discover together new genre of music. This will surely increase their love for music & not just that but even you may discover something new. While doing so, set some boundaries like not listening to music that may have any vulgar language.
4. Create events together
Another great way to share music with your child would be to jam-in together. And for this particular activity you can involve the entire family. Just pick an upbeat song and create your own unique family routine on that song. Other than the fact that you are sharing music with your entire family, this is a great way to bond with your kids. You don’t have to perform in front of an audience but you can fix a day in a month or a fortnight when your entire family participates. Give your kids the freedom to choose the part they want to play in this session. Let them sing, dance or maybe use sticks to rap on the table to create a percussion sound. Either way this will be fun and it will be your unique family thing.
These days there are a lot of apps & tools available to record your session. No matter how amateurish you think your sessions are, go ahead and record these. It’s a great way for your kids to analyze & improve themselves.
6. Experience Live Music together
Usually we listen to recorded music but the joy of listening to live music is unparalleled. When you are listening to a live performance, you can actually feel the beat, vibrations & the effect it has on your brain is quite intense. Experiencing live music together is a great way to share music experiences with your child. There are many live music events that take place all throughout the year. You have music festivals, concerts, carnivals, local bands or just stop by to a street side musician. These are great opportunities to enjoy live music for you as well as your kids. A live music experience is a great way to spark the inspiration in your child for music.
7. Let them experience the joy of creating music
We don’t mind saying it over & over again that learning music from an early age has loads of benefits attached to it. It is a very good way to sharpen other aspects of a child’s development. So go ahead, take them to a music class or a school. Let them experience the environment. Let them try their hand at all the musical instruments they fancy. Eventually they are going to pick one of their favorites. And once they do that, they are opening themselves to a world full of possibilities. And while your kids are at it, it will surely do you good too, to pick up a musical instrument for yourself if you haven’t done that already. After all its music we are talking about, an earthly, unexplained phenomena that is created with the sole intention of enjoying life. Your kids are going to thank you for these early music experiences & the memories you create together with them. So go ahead, create a life full of memories with your child by sharing music.