Friday, May 30, 2008

Music Time!

I am leaving in a couple of hours for my 16 hour drive. Thanks again to all of you who gave me great ideas for the drive. My kids will be thanking you too...

But before I leave, I had to write just a few things about music. Having taught piano for 10 years, I know the benefits and joys of having music in the home. Unfortunately, teaching my 5 year old piano on a regular basis has been next to impossible (mostly because of slacking on my part). But there are a couple of things that he has learned that would benefit all young children.
  1. soft (piano) versus loud (forte). When he plays the piano softly, we get down on the floor and creep around like mice. And when he plays a loud song, we pretend we are elephants and stomp around. Then, when we hear things in real life, like a train roar by or a bird chirping, I ask him if it is piano or forte. So he is learning basic music definitions.

  2. beat versus rhythm. Did you know there is a difference? The beat is the one, two, three, four that is even and constant. The rhythm is the actual notes that are played/sung. So we will play a song like the eensy weensy spider and clap it two times, once clapping the beat and once following the rhythm. (With rhythm, he claps each syllable of each word. With beat, it is once every beat: eensy weensy spi der.)

Besides this, we just sing. All day, every day. We make up songs. We do action songs. We find songs on iTunes to download. E has his own folder on iTunes with his own music. He gets on the computer and plays his music to his heart's content.

Every night before bed, each person in the family chooses a song to sing. Sometimes it is church music, sometimes it is action songs, sometimes it is something they heard somewhere along the way (a recent favorite is: Transformers - more than meets the eye). Then we have two songs my husband and I sing to them right before we leave the room: Rock a Bye Baby and Lullabye, which we made up words for specifically for our boys. They think this is really how the song goes.

I know I have more ideas, but I have more last minute packing to do! We may revisit this theme or some version of it at a later time...I feel very strongly about the importance of music in children's lives.

1 comment:

Deneal said...

I forgot to comment about this! Sorry. Thanks Erin for sharing these ideas. It helps me have some activities to use while we are playing different music. I hope A can learn about music rather than just learning to like it. Great helps you've given.