There is a great variety of ways you can get started with introducing your child to music. Here are some fun ideas to try:
Listening to music requires your child to focus their attention.
Don’t worry if your child’s attention span isn’t great to begin with – it will gradually improve with regular listening sessions. Select a variety of music for your child to sample. Resist the urge to stick to well-known favourites (yours or theirs).
Look for music from cultures other than your own to give your child a rich experience of the sounds the world has to offer.
Encourage your child to listen to and appreciate the sounds of nature too – waves crashing on the beach, birds singing in the trees, crickets chirping on warm summer evenings…
This can be as simple as tapping a teaspoon on the side of a few glasses filled with varying amounts of water, or banging two pot lids together as cymbals.
With a little extra effort, you can even make tambourines: Give your child 2 paper plates to decorate (on the underside).
Place a handful of buttons, crushed shells or tiny pebbles on one plate, and glue or staple the other plate on top. Staple tissue paper or ribbon streamers on the bottom for extra flair.
Purchase a selection of different sized bells from your local craft shop and sew them on to an old pair of gloves – or wide strips of elastic that your child can wear around their wrists or ankles.
Moving to music can help your child express their feelings, and explore their creative side. Not to mention it’s a FUN way to start introducing your child to music!
Provide different tempos and experiment with movements. Use scarves or ribbons to drift and float or try bouncing on the trampoline to a more vigorous beat.
Encourage your child to imitate animal movements – plodding like an elephant with a swaying trunk, waddling like a duck, or hopping like a frog.
Mix up a batch of finger paint and let your child squish and swirl to classical music – then take a print on a piece of paper to record their expression.
Singing helps your child learn to use their own voice. Start out simple, with action songs like ‘The Wheels On the Bus’ or I’m a Little Teapot’.
Don’t be embarrassed if your singing voice is not platinum album material – young children aren’t judgemental and will respond to even the most off-key singing!
Try making up your own songs to familiar tunes. A classic from our family repertoire is “Oh Where Oh Where Has My Joshua Gone”. Over the years (10 to be exact), the name has changed as each new child came along – but the song is still on the request list!
Encourage your child to make up their own songs and praise their efforts. Record your child singing so they can listen to themselves.
Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you