Monday, October 6, 2008


We all agree that music is important in our children's lives. It teaches our children rhythm, rhyme, harmony, and all sorts of other good stuff (sounds professional coming from a piano teacher, eh?) What I am going to discuss today is ideas on how to introduce more music into your children's lives.

1. Make music part of the routine. Sing the clean up song when it's time to clean up (that's the one redeeming thing that comes from Barney). Play quiet music during quiet time. Play church music on Sundays. Sing bedtime songs with your children (what a great tradition!). Turn on the radio or cds instead of the tv randomly throughout the day.

2. Introduce them to all different types of music. My kids love classical music - mostly thanks to Baby Einstein, but I also play Chopin cds regularly. They also love Kelly Clarkson, and their current favorite song is "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles. And they love all of the songs on "Guitar Hero," because we have played it on family nights together. It's fun watching them "rock out" on air guitar when they hear "Iron Man" on the radio.

3. Introduce them to store bought or homemade instruments. We have a drum set, a harmonica, a recorder, and maracas that my boys adore. However, they are equally excited when I let them get the pots and pans out. Then they pull out my wooden spoons, my plastic spatulas and some serving silverware and they love listening to the different sounds each utensil creates. Or make a kazoo using a toilet paper roll, some wax paper and a rubber band. Deneal also suggested some ideas for instruments in this post. And I found some great ideas here.

4. Show them how reading music works. If you attend church and use hymnals, hold your child's index finger and help them follow along with the words. They will start to understand how to read music. My five year old can now follow every word, knows when to move to the next line, and when to start at the beginning of the song for the next verse. I didn't figure this out until I was 10 years old!

5. Read music books that interest them. Go to the library and borrow books about instruments or composers. Borrow children's books that have a singalong cd. We will go into more depth concerning books with our book club in two weeks.

6. Check out some or all of these websites.
  • Click here to see what has been written in the past on this blog about music.
  • This is a fun musical memory turtle game.
  • Fisher Price has a fun instrument game where you choose a song to play, and there are four or five instruments that play the song. Then you can turn them on or off one at a time to hear what each one sounds like individually.
  • Franktown Rocks is, according to their website, "the first-ever musical virtual world for kids."
  • Building Blocks has a recording studio where you can learn a song or make your own on a virtual piano.
  • Disney has some fun music games for kids.
  • This is a fun Disney one too: Pluto's Musical Maze
  • I found an awesome blog, called Munchkins and Music, that helps parents teach their kids all sorts of awesome music-related things, from learning about rhythm, meter, and note values, to Wordless Wednesdays "Which Instrument is This?" (including pictures of little-known instruments). I love this blog! Check it out.
Now it's your turn! Either use the Mr. Linky to connect to your own blog with ideas, or leave a comment with your ideas, and you will be entered into the giveaway! These are the cds I'm giving away:

The Baby Einstein cd has some classical music and some hand-movement songs. Disney's Greatest has 20 of the most famous songs from Disney movies...basically all of the songs you start singing, and then can't get out of your head because they are so catchy. Next Monday I will announce the winners. The first person I choose gets their first cd choice, and the second person I choose gets the other one (hopefully it's their first choice!). For rules of the giveaway, click here.

Next week is your lucky week, because I will be saving you anywhere from $5.00 to $20.00, based on where you live! Check back next Monday for details.


Candy Cook said...

Music has always been an integral part of my life. I can play instruments by ear.. and have been doing so ever since my parents bought me those little mini-electronic keyboards that used to be sold. Haven't seen those in a long time. I still remember the mid-80s when I was a child, being in the basement family room of our home and my mom would be playing Carly Simon or Carole King or Jim Croce and Cat Stevens or Jefferson Airplane loudly as we played games and horsed around. I think the best way to introduce music to kids is just to have it playing. I didn't learn an appreciation for classical music until I was in my teens playing in the school orchestra. But, I regularly hammered out commercial jingles, tv show themes, and radio songs on an old antique piano my mother bought and never tuned. LOL That's a fun challenge.

Munchkins and Music said...

You have some great ideas here! Thanks for noting me in your post, you are very sweet. I am linking to this blog. :)

Isabel's Mommy said...

I am very excited about this and made a big post on our blog about it and requested a bunch of items from the library. I will share them with you in case you are interested in requesting them from your library:

- Melissa & Doug Band in a Box (toy)
- Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin (book)
- Musical Instruments from A to Z (book)
- Mozart Find a Melody (book)
- Sergei Prokofiev's Peter & the wolf (book & cd)
- Mole Music (book & cd)
- Baby Einstein: Meet the Orchestra & First Instruments (DVD)
- 101 More Music Games for Children (book)

I also posted a link to animated songs website and some pages with coloring sheets.

Isabel's Mommy said...

DD really likes the Fisher Price game as well as all the Disney ones. She is too young for Franktown.