5 Ways to Introduce Music to the Developing Mind
Parents often ask me “how young is too young” when it comes to introducing an instrument into their child’s life. To get a better idea of the best age to introduce an instrument, check out my FAQ vlog from last week. However, when it comes to introducing your little one to music, there is no such thing as ‘too young’. A recent study conducted by the University of Queensland has found that creating informal music at home between the ages of two and three can lead to better social, literacy and numeracy skills. In addition to this, they found that it can lead to improved attention span and emotional regulation.
So, how do you create informal music at home? Here are my top 5 easy ways to introduce music to the developing mind:
1. Create Playlists
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but simply having music on in the background is a fantastic way to get children involved in music from a young age. Use age-appropriate songs as a backing track to play time, travel time, and even bed time. The right choice in music can create a stimulating and fun environment and help children absorb information. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a slow and gentle track can create a quiet and soothing environment for relaxation.
Singing to your baby is a truly beautiful bonding experience. As they begin to grow, encourage your little one to sing along with you. Singing nursery rhymes together is not only fun, but it is a great technique for developing memory, rhythm and pitch skills.
3. Concert Time!
You can’t deny that when toddlers are exposed to music, they can’t help but wiggle! Encourage your little ones to perform dance concerts for you. They are loads of fun and they help them to develop their rhythm skills. Another great way to promote a positive link between music and fun is to have singing concerts. Singing can build confidence while facilitating exploration of pitch, rhythm and emotion in music. Get the whole family involved and mix the two together for a musical theatre experience!
4. Creating Music Together
This is definitely one of my favourite ways to create informal music. If you have any instruments at home, encourage your little one to experiment with them. To start, sit with them and play random notes to introduce them to pitch. As they begin to feelmore comfortable, encourage them to make up songs (even if it just starts with banging the keys on the piano!).
5. Get Tactile
If you don’t have any instruments at home, it doesn't mean that you can’t create music with your child! Pull out the pots and pans and create your own hand-made drum set! Keep an eye out for my how-to blog post that will walk your through creating some of my favourite home-made instruments.
At the end of the day, your imagination is the limit when it comes to using fun ways to introduce music to your children. Encourage them to make noise and experiment with rhythm and pitch in ways that interest them. Keep it light, fun and informal to see the true benefits of music on the young mind.