Want your child to be musical? Then sing and dance with your child, and give them a chance and a place to explore musically with you every week!
Research suggests that as a young child develops, it is only by giving them a chance to experiment with music-making, and giving them repeated exposure to music that they will learn it. Remember that children learn through play! So when we offer a child the a chance to receive all that musical information (exposure), and follow that up with the opportunity to play with that information (experimentation) they will then start to learn music. Now remember, that this doesn't all happen in one week or even in several months. The exposure and experimentation must be repeated every week over time for your children to learn music. What most people don’t realize is how essential their role is in their child’s musical learning process. In much the same way that you speak to and imitate your child’s first attempts at language, it is critical that you model music making and singing with them, and echo what they do. By mirroring and echoing your child’s early music making attempts you will endorse their experimentation, and you will encourage their continued experimentation. In this way, you are supporting your child’s creative play with music and validating what they are doing. At Music Together we understand how young children learn (giving children at chance to play – and thus providing them with developmentally appropriate practice. Their learning takes place in an environment without pressure to perform. There’s nothing better than that, where a child’s learning is concerned. Provided they are afforded these ongoing opportunities, eventually they will become competent music makers in their own right.
Lisa Hearns is an early childhood music expert, a professional jazz musician and recording artist, and a music teacher who has been teaching music to people of all ages since 1995. Hearns is also the Center Director of Matawan Music Together, offering music classes in Aberdeen and Middletown to children from birth to 5 years of age and the grown ups who love them.