How to bring up a musical generation
Parents approach me with this question about their toddlers who show an interest in music in one way or another, singing melodies or hitting notes on the toy keyboard. "What should we be doing to encourage their budding love for music?" The parents ask.
At this age, the little ones are too young to benefit from having lessons but there are some steps that you can be taking to get them ready & help nurture this innate love of music that has started to grow in your child.
Parents, grandparents and nannies, here are four ways you can help bring up a musical generation!
1. Example. Children love the things their parents love. If you do not play an instrument, I highly suggest you leaving the safety of your comfort zone and pursuing classes. Think of it as an investment for your child. When your little one hears you playing, they are going to want to play. This is huge! I know it probably seems like a lot of work if you have children around the house but there are lots of options out there nowadays where you don’t even have to leave your house for lessons! If you want in-home lessons, check out the app called thumbtack. It will connect you with people in your area who would be willing to travel to you for lessons! As a second option, there are lots of teachers who teach lessons over skype or FaceTime (including myself.)
2.Immerse yourself in music. This one is the easiest of all and probably the one that is the most achieved. Introduce your little ones to all different genres and styles of music. While folding laundry, while driving, anytime there’s an opportunity. Music is so good for the brain in so many amazing ways!
3.Rhythm games. You can devote a little part of your day to playing rhythm games with your child. While listening to the music, encourage your child to clap to the beat. You can march around the room with your child while clapping. You can get out pots and some wooden spoons and use them as drums. (Your neighbors will love this one!!!) Doing these simple exercises with your little ones will bring awareness to rhythm and from there they can cultivate what they’ve learned and use it in the future once they’re in music classes as well.
It’s amazing the things that we can do without even knowing we could do them. Rhythm is one of those things, humans have this intrinsic ability to create perfect rhythms without even realizing it. Think about walking down the street or having a conversation with someone. Yep, we’re creating rhythm!
4.Piano basics. If you don’t have a little toy piano or keyboard that your child can play with I would suggest getting one. Once your child is 2 years old you can start showing them the piano and gently teaching them about the basics. This is one of the reasons why it is so important for you to learn! To bring up a generation of musical children we must be able to give them a foundation. Frankly, when parents put their children into music lessons yet have shown no interest in music themselves, I can tell you, the kids are most likely not going to be as into it as they would if they grew up surrounded by music.
What is holding you back as a parent from pursuing something musically? Is it because there’s not enough time? We all have the same amount of time in a day, you just must decide to make the time. Is it because you’re afraid of not being good? It is in the moments when you’re vulnerable and you put yourself out there that you grow the most. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you and possibly future generations from becoming musical.
There’s a plethora of reasons why music is so amazingly important in our day to day life & lots of studies to back it up. You owe this to your children and to yourself, whatever it is you’ve always wanted to pursue musically whether singing, guitar, violin or piano, go out and do it!