Music Education in the Home
I grew up with parents who really worked to enhance our school-based education with varied learning experience outside a classroom setting. I think too often nowadays, we get so busy, we expect too much of the educational burden to fall in teachers and schools. The fact of the matter is, teachers have rigorous standards to meet, a over loaded curriculum and endless paper work to compete. Some aspects of education might have to slip through the cracks. Quite often arts education is one of the first things to fall to the wayside. That's where parents (and of course private music instructors) come in to help pick up the slack.
You don't need to wait until your children are school-aged to start implementing music into your at home learning time. If you start when they are tiny tots, it will become part of your regular routine and it will be easy to continue have music time after they start school.
What should you be doing at home to introduce your tiny kids to music? Well, I'm glad you asked! That's exactly what this post is about! Below are just a few ideas to make music a more prominent part of you home learning environment!
1. Play a variety of music. Thanks to Pandora and Spotify and Amazon Prime (the list goes on), we have access to any kind of music you could ever want (and probably some you never want). Turn it on in the background during playtime or while they eat lunch. Even infants can enjoy the music and it will help with their cognitive development!
2. Play a lullaby and nap time and bed time. Some of you might already have a white noise machine or something to help block out the business of life when your little ones sleep. Try using so,e classical music! There are so many choices! Baby Einstein has classical lullabies or there's the newer Rockabye Baby CD's. Find what works best for you and your littles! I suggest music without words while they sleep so they aren't tempted to sing along.
3. Set aside time for free dance! Just out on some favorite tunes and let loose with the kids.
4. Practice clapping to the beat of different songs. This will help your kids rhythm instincts thrive!
5. Let them sing along! Kids love singing! And the younger they start(I love when babies who can't talk yet think they can sing along. It's adorable and hilarious!) the sooner their sense of pitch will develop.
6. Enroll your kid in group music classes. Most of these kinds of classes will teach rhythm and other musical elements through fun games and simple children's songs. In the group setting, they'll work on social skills as well as music skills! And the kids will have a fun time! Look around your area to see what classes might be offered through your city or through local private music schools and teachers in your area!
7. Buy your kids play instruments. Fisher Price and Playskool make plenty of toys in this category. I know they're noisy. Set aside a time a couple times a week to get these toys out and let them experiment. Let them have fun!
8. Enroll your kids in private lessons. Suzuki method teachers will often take students as young as 3 or 4 for violin or piano lessons. Most other teachers prefer waiting until at least kindergarten or until they can read.
These are just a few suggestions on how to incorporate music education at home! But there are many more.
I want to know what has worked in your house! Leave a comment to share your experiences with others! That's how we all learn!
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Adam and Wendi have extensive music experience, as teachers and performers.