10 ways to bring music into your child's life
Ask yourself each day if your child has sung, played, or listened to some music; if not, sing a lullaby or play a CD softly as you say good night. Remember: Make music part of every day!
1. Sing a song to your child (your singing ability does NOT matter.)
2. Listen to any kind of music while playing with your baby.
3. Put a music player in the kitchen or in the child’s room - and take a moment to turn on some music.
4. Buy a music box. Yes, one of those wind-up non-digital ones. One of the best presents you can give a new baby is something that plays a classical melody – Brahms’ “Lullaby,” Strauss’ “Blue Danube,” or Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nacht Musik” are favorites.
5. Schedule a daily listening hour – or even 10 minutes – each day. Play music, sing, put on a dancing puppet show around the crib, and as your child grows, dance with him or her around the room as you enjoy your favorite music. One of my favorite childhood memories is marching around the border of the oriental carpet in the living room to "The Teddy Bear's Picnic."
6. As your child grows, buy simple percussion instruments at a music store and bang along to the music. Pots and pans are great rhythm makers too! NOTE: Real percussion instruments from a music store often are no more expensive than those at the toy store, and they sound sooooo much better.
7. Watch videos with great music, such as The Nutcracker ballet.
8. Listen to a wide range of music that you enjoy. The Classical Kids series, child-oriented recordings by Raffi and Tom Chapin, and Maestro Classics are a few good options for families. And there are many other currently popular great choices.
9. Find age appropriate live music and take your child to family concerts once or twice a year. Young minds are like sponges.
10. Keep your child’s favorite CDs in the car or on your phone and listen actively as you drive.
Bonnie Ward Simon, BA, MA, M.Ed, M.Phil.,
President of Maestro Classics