Music makes just about any activity more enjoyable. Adults and children alike love singing along or busting out some awesome dance moves when their favorite song comes on, or joining in a group song at family gatherings, in church, or at sporting events. It’s been proven that music helps enhance every part of children’s development. It improves academic performance, strengthens and enhances motor skills, and helps children establish positive and rewarding relationships with others. Music plays a big role in children’s learning – in terms of intelligence, and also in physical development, mental health, and emotional well-being. Exposing children to music and encouraging them to learn an instrument cultivates many benefits and skills that will continue to positively affect them throughout their entire lives. By adding music to your daily life, you give children valuable tools to help in many other areas of their lives, as well as immeasurable joy, and endless possibilities for creative exploration.
Here are some ways you can incorporate music into your family’s daily routine:
Listen to Music
Play music in the background when at home doing chores, or homework, when relaxing, or when driving in the car. Music can act as a calming backdrop to most of your daily tasks. Let music become a part of the fabric of everyday life for you and your children.
Dance to Music
Most kids LOVE to dance! So, get up and bust a move with them! Turn on your favorite song, or any fun song, and just let loose. Join hands with the kids and dance around, or just make up your own silly dance moves. They will love being silly with you. If your child is younger, or a pre-walker, you can hold them while you dance around the room or clap their hands together and help them do a little wiggle dance. Have fun!
Start the Day with Music
Instead of the loud, garish blaring of an alarm clock, start your child’s day with a soothing song. Wake them slowly with a soft calming song that they’re familiar with. They will be less likely to wake up with a case of the grumps when gently woken up by gentle, pleasant music instead of getting jarred awake by an annoying bell or incessant beeping. Music helps relieve stress, so beginning the day with music will help ensure that your child’s day gets off to a good start.
Take it a step further and make your own music. Grab an instrument and play with your child, or make an instrument out of regular household items, like pots, pans and spoons, or recycled items like tin cans, boxes, water bottles, or paper tubes. Or, don’t use instruments at all - you can make a beat drumming on the coffee table, the floor, or the walls while you sing a song together. You can even show the children how to make music with their bodies by clapping, stomping feet, or lightly playing a beat on their tummies. The children think its great fun, and it allows them to learn rhythm and have a great time exploring how to make new sounds.
Sing to Your Children and Sing with Them
Singing is a great way to add music to your daily life. Sing to your children whenever the opportunity arises. Sing about doing mundane activities like picking up toys or brushing their teeth – it’s easy to turn almost anything into a song. Let your children join in and sing with you. Don’t be shy about your singing voice. You don’t have to be a great singer to have fun singing with your kids – they love to hear your voice! Make up your own silly songs. Sing about the groceries you have to buy at the store. Sing about patience while you wait in line at the post office. Drive through town and sing about the different things you pass along the way – the cars, the trees, anything! Let your creativity flow and encourage your kids to join in and make up their own songs. Lullabies are another great way to sing to your children. They have been hearing your voice since they were in utero, so it is the most soothing sound in the world to them. Hearing your voice singing softly to them is the surest way lull them right off to sleep.
Use Music Instead of a Timer when Doing Tasks
Are there toys to be put away, or beds to be made? Put on some music and challenge your children to get the job done before the song ends. You could even designate a special song as your “clean up song.” Or, make up a song about cleaning up and sing it while you’re doing the task. Make sure kids are thoroughly brushing their teeth by playing a short song and having them brush until the song is over. Even the most mundane tasks can be fun and exciting when you put them to music.
Read Books about Music
There are many books about music that are written for children, and so many of their favorite stories include music. Your children will enjoy reading about favorite their characters singing songs about them. Some books even play music. It can certainly help your children build their love of music if they can associate some of their favorite characters with familiar songs.
Use Music During Difficult Times
Does your child need to go to the dentist? Or to the doctor to get a shot? Sing about it or turn on a favorite song to distract them from the unpleasantness of the moment. While the nurse is administering a vaccination, or medication, sing a song to distract your child from the sting, and have them sing with you. If your child is having a tantrum, or upset about something, singing softly to them can help calm them and bring them to a more stable state of mind.
Attend Events with Live Music
Take your kids to see live music. There are many free live music events in your local community – check online, or at your local library or the city park. There are often outdoor concerts, festivals, and performances you can attend. Many child-friendly events are free and open to the public. If you can, give your children the opportunity to see ticketed events like the opera, the ballet, or musical theater. It is an experience they will treasure forever, and it could foster an interest in those types of artistic expression. If you have friends or family who play an instrument or sing, attend their concerts and recitals, or attend worship services and let the children hear the choir sing. Let them see that music is loved by many people, not just you and your family. Music can bring all types of people together, from all walks of life – its important for children to see how music influences the world.
Attend a Music Class
Enrolling your children in a music class gives them the opportunity to learn about music, and how to play music. They can learn music history, musical concepts, music theory, and how to make beautiful music themselves. Sinfonia Music Academy offers numerous opportunities for families to learn music together. We have private music lessons, and Kindermusik classes for you to attend with your kids. There are many ways for families to make music together. Incorporating music in your family’s life is quite easy, and has infinite benefits for your children.