Ways to Introduce Music to Young Children8 min read
There is no human being on earth who has not heard music of some sort or the other. Whether it is through a song on the radio, playing an instrument, going to a concert, watching an ad on the television, or even listening to your mother sing a lullaby, everyone comes in contact with music at some point in their lives. Some people love it and some don’t mind it, but everyone hears it.
As a parent, it is a great thought to introduce music to your children from a young age itself. Why? Because your kids are inevitably going to come in contact with it at some point, and wouldn’t you rather have been the one to introduce them to good music that they can continue to appreciate as they grow up?
There are numerous genres of music that exist, each with their own unique characteristics and peculiarities. And your child will greatly benefit from being introduced to as many musical styles and genres as possible. This would include pop, jazz, country, rock, classical and world music to name a few. As your child is exposed to more styles and forms of music you will gradually be able to gauge his likings and develop both his and your music tastes along the way.
Although as your kids grow, they will most probably be introduced to rhymes and other children’s music the most, it is important for them to be acquainted with well-known genres like hip hop, jazz and classical music as well. This is because music has a lot of important benefits in the life of an individual.
What are the Benefits of Music in our Lives?
There are multiple studies and researchers that have discovered the relationship between music and the human mind and body. Music has a number of positive effects on a human being, and introducing it to your child at an early age will prove highly beneficial for him/her. Here are a few ways that music benefits us:
· Improves Memory
Research has shown that music has tremendous effects on memory. People who are more involved with music tend to have a stronger memory. Young children will greatly benefit from a better memory in their school life as well as extra-curricular activities.
· Enhances Creativity
Children who begin to play musical instruments or listen to classical music are seen to be more creative than those who don’t. Music helps an individual’s creative thinking skills to develop among many others.
· Helps to Lower Anxiety
Music tremendously helps to reduce anxiety in a person. You must have noticed that listening to music when you are anxious or stressed helps to calm you down. Studies have also shown that when a person listens to music, their body releases less cortisol which is the stress hormone.
· Lifts your Mood
Many people will vouch for the fact that music is an amazing mood-lifter. Switching on some music when you are not in the best of spirits will help to change your mood drastically.
· Can Help to Treat Mental Illnesses
A number of studies have shown how listening to music can trigger the release of various chemicals in the brain (like dopamine, oxytocin, serotine etc.) that play important roles in an individual’s mental health as well as brain function.
· Helps to Learn New Languages
Music has amazing effects in terms of learning new languages. Singing songs help children to remember concepts much more effectively. People who are exposed to music from a young age tend to be better at picking up foreign languages.
· Connects People
One of the most beautiful characteristics of music is that it has the ability to bring people closer. Listening to music with a friend on the bus, jamming to songs at a house party, going to a concert with thousands of people, all these are instances of how music can connect people in the best possible ways.
Now that we have seen how music can positively affect literally all parts of a human being’s life, we are sure that you cannot wait to begin introducing some good music to your kids. So, let us look at how you can go about it.
How to Introduce Music to Children?
It is important to do a little background study on the music and songs that you intend on introducing to your child. As a parent you should be well-aware of what you are exposing your child to.
A few ideas that you can adopt to introduce music to your children include:
· Read and Recite Nursery Rhymes
Nursery rhymes are an excellent way to get young children excited about music. They have rhythm and rhymes that will get your child to clap his/her hands and sing along. Many nursery rhymes also have certain lessons in their lyrics which your child will pick up as he learns and sings them. Reading nursery rhymes out loud while snapping your fingers or tapping your feet will help your child to understand how rhythm works.
· Introduce them to Instruments
Enrolling your child for music lessons will help to fuel his journey of music. As he learns a new instrument, he will not only pick up another skill but also grow to enjoy music. Encouraging your child to join a school band or attend music classes will prove beneficial in the long run.
· Play Music in the Background
You must have noticed that it is easier and more fun to do certain jobs when music is added to the mix. Singing and dancing along to tunes will get anyone through a boring task quickly. Switching on some good music as you and your kids are on a family holiday or doing chores at home will help to expose them to music as well as create good memories and bonds that will stay with them forever.
· Watch Musical Movies as a Family
Although musicals are not everyone’s cup of tea, watching some good family musical movies will really help your kids explore different aspects of music. Musicals have a lot of song and dance which will keep your child interested as they also pick up on various life skills and character strengths. There are a number of musical movies for you to watch and enjoy as a family so go ahead and switch one on!
· Go for a Performance
Taking your kids to local concerts or performances will be a great family outing while your kids also get to see and hear live music. You can look for bands whose songs are focused on a younger crowd and head out with your family for a fantastic musical time.
· Teach Action Songs
Action songs are a wonderful combination of song, movement and dance. Teaching your kids action songs is a nice way to open them up to experience the joys of music while also having tons of fun. Action songs are a mixed bag of laughter, catchy lyrics, coordinated movements and fun that will keep everyone entertained and create loads of good memories.
Some Tips to Make it Easier
As you immerse yourself with trying different methods to encourage your child into the world of music, keeping some of these important tips in mind will make it easier and fruitful for both your kids and you.
· Be Patient
Remember to be patient with your kids on their journey of music exploration. It is completely okay if your child does not like the same music that you do. Being patient will help as you have discussions with your child about what he finds interesting and what he dislikes about certain music.
If you have enrolled your child for music lessons, keep in mind that it is not easy to master a new skill overnight. Encourage your child with his endeavors and give him positive reinforcement every time he requires it.
· Have Realistic Expectations
Many a times when you take the effort to plan out numerous musical activities for your child, he may not necessarily find them interesting and/or want to participate in them at all. While this may be a little disheartening, don’t give up and just remember to be consistent in incorporating a little music every opportunity you get.
· Don’t Micromanage
It is extremely important for you to be aware of this as a parent. Even though you make an effort to introduce your kids to music, it is a good idea to not try to micromanage them into how they explore it. Allow them their space and freedom to explore and experience music on their own and in their own way. Micromanaging them might lead to them pushing away music altogether and you don’t want that!
We hope that these ideas and tips will assist you as you nurture and develop your child’s interest and love for music. Your child will grow to appreciate good music when you make an effort to expose him to different genres and styles in interesting ways. Remember to have fun with your child as you both grow your music tastes.