Music in the Family
At Maestro Classics we believe that listening to music together is a critical part of a joyous family life. We’ve outlined a few suggestions below for introducing your children to all genres of music. We love to hear your thoughts and discoveries, so contact us and we’ll add them to our list!
Most importantly – sing, dance, move, play and listen with your children all through their lives and they will naturally come to love music as much as you.
24 weeks before your baby is born they can hear sounds and they are listening…to their mother’s voice, sounds from the world around them…and to music. This is a great time to start the habit of putting on music when you get up in the morning, when you are making dinner or enjoying a leisure activity. Some people even choose to hold headphones on a future mom’s belly. Start collecting music that you think you, your baby and your family will enjoy. And start listening!
Re-learn all the childhood songs you once knew.
If you can, furnish the baby’s room with a music player or bluetooth speaker if you have one.
First and foremost, be sure to sing to your baby. You can include fun sounds with a musical mobile and by playing all kinds of music from your collection. Select different music you love for bedtime, waking up, moving and swaying together and quiet times at home.
Click here to read the article "Listening Habits Begin at Birth" for more suggestions on how to introduce your baby to music.
Sing and interact with your child. Play fun call and response songs as your child learns to speak and identify words. Play clapping and rhythm games. Find a parent-child/mommy-and-me music class. You’ll have fun with music, meet new friends and learn all kinds of activities to do together at home. For more suggestions click here to read the article "Ten Easy Ways To Bring Music Into Your Child's Life" by Bonnie Simon.
Throughout childhood continue singing to and with your child and play clapping and rhythm games. Learn call and response songs together. Play different types of music and learn different movements and create marches and dances to go with each.
Instrument study: Find a Suzuki teacher or studio; Suzuki violin study usually begins at ages 4 or 5. At this age children are usually still too young to be reading music. Click here to learn more about the Suzuki method.
Continue to enjoy outdoor concerts and music festivals in your area. Often orchestra concerts for young children will have an “instrument petting zoo” where children can try out instruments.
Encourage movement to music and perhaps begin creative dance classes.
Keep singing together!
This is a great age to begin learning how to play an instrument. If your school district offers beginning instrument lessons, talk to your child about what instruments they like and sign them up. The articles "Buying an Instrument" and "Finding the Right Instrument is Like Falling in Love" contain information on how to choose the right instrument for your child.
Find a children’s choir – perhaps one is available at your place of worship, a local community center or local music school.
Children at this age are better able to enjoy symphony concerts designed for kids. Most major orchestras offer these opportunities and travel to rural locations to perform. Enjoy a local band shell concert, a drum corp show, a parade or anywhere you can see musicians at work. Play music, rather than videos, in your car.
At this age there are many opportunities for children to make and enjoy music together. Continue to encourage your child to play an instrument and join the school band, choir or orchestra. (Read "Does Your Child Really Need Band" by Bonnie Simon for further information on joining the school band.) Try to keep up an interest in singing and diversify your music choices.
Encourage movement or dancing lessons of any type – swing, ballet, tap, ballroom and hip hop.
Listen widely with your children. Invite them to share the music they have discovered with you. Be respectful.
Ages 13 – 18
Talk to your teens about the music they love and share their enthusiasm. Teens listen widely and will surprise you with the diversity of their taste. Encourage them to attend as many different kinds of concerts as possible.
Protect their ears! Encourage earplugs for rock concerts, discos, etc. Educate your children on the effects of extremely loud music on their hearing (loss of hearing and tinnitus). Click here to read the article "Turn Down the Volume or Plug Your Ears!" for further thoughts on this very important subject.
Look for appropriate summer music camps and encourage your children to consider one. "Will Your Child's Instrument Go to Camp this Summer" contains information on how to choose the right camp.
Attend a wider variety of music and dance performances – musical comedy, light opera, Broadway productions, jazz, rock, ballet, flamenco to name just a few.
Purchase tickets and go to a symphony concert with a great soloist. Consider a subscription to a concert series in a small hall. Take up an instrument. Remember the piano lessons that you stopped? You can begin again! Read this article for more thoughts on music lessons for adults.
When traveling abroad, look in the newspaper for concerts – in Europe there are many free or inexpensive concerts held in beautiful, historic churches. Played in a band when you were young? Start another band with friends now. Support your local classical music radio station.