Music is a universal language that cuts across language, race, tribe, country or even continent. Everyone recognizes music as the one thing on this planet that brings people together in a powerful way. Music is also seen as a learning tool that helps kids develop discipline, understand method and become more creative in their lives. However, paying for music classes or enrolling your child in a music class at school is not always enough. Besides, you may be one of the growing numbers of parents opting to homeschool their children.
If this is you, here are five steps towards teaching your child the basics of music and setting a good foundation to either do it professionally or as a skilled hobby.
The first step is to introduce your child to the world of music. Play some music for them either on an instrument or on the radio. Help them appreciate the music and learn to listen to the various aspects of the music. Sing along, dance, have fun with this step because it is the make or break stage in the journey.
If your child shows no interest in the music and does not seem to gravitate towards any particular music, they may find it hard in the future learning music and appreciating it. On the other hand, as your child interacts with music, you will be able to tell which sounds they are most thrilled by and this could inform you on the sort of instruments to direct them towards.
Music is all about rhythm. As a budding music student, your child should start appreciating the various beats and tempo in the music you experience together. Using toy instruments is an excellent way to build rhythm into a child’s understanding of music. For instance, if your child gravitates towards drums, buying them a set of toy drums helps them learn the different rhythms in various songs.
This sense of balance with the beat will play a very important role when they begin learning how to recognize notes in music. You may also teach your child rhythm through the creating of ragtag musicals in the house. Start with a simple beat and have them keep track, add their own creative input and have fun doing it.
Music is not just music but a complex set of interrelated concepts that weave together into the music we all love. While your child may not be able to fully appreciate the entirety of these concepts at first, it helps to begin to introduce them to the various concepts of music. Musical notes, tone, tempo, pitch, instruments, lyrics and so on.
These concepts help your child see there is more to music than meets the ear. They start exploring the various possibilities that music presents. Perhaps they could write some lyrics. Or maybe even organize a random in-house holiday carol. Musical concepts are the DNA of music and as your child comes to appreciate them, it prepares them for the next step, note recognition.
This is potentially one of the more technical bits of the five steps. Using music learning software for kids, such as the one supplied by BrillKids, you help your child understand the various notes that go into the making of music. Notes are easy to teach as they involve creating associations between a sound and a shape.
While this will take longer to learn and never quite comes to a complete conclusion because of how much one can learn about notes and writing music, it’s best to set easily achievable goals that do not impose too much pressure on the child.
Finally do some recordings. There is nothing more fun and enjoyable than making music videos with your kids. You may have seen some online and if they are not amazing, they are at least cute and adorable.
When your child sees the playback they get inspired to do even better and more and this becomes a positive feedback mechanism for their efforts. Besides, you never know, your child could very well be the next Justin Bieber so get the cameras rolling and the songs singing.
Scott Ryan writes for Morris Brothers Music Store, a store that helps parents and children discover musical instruments and the beauty of music.