Music is an essential piece of early childhood development. So, as you seek to prepare your child for kindergarten prepare them for lessons at the same time!
Studies have shown that toddlers who participate in active music play classes with their guardian are able to function more holistically. You see, toddlers are at a stage of development in which their cognition is multidimensional; “group music experiences for toddlers [are] a highly effective way to offer…multidimensional sensory opportunities by combining auditory, visual, and tactile stimuli” (Standley). In other words, moving to the rhythm of music, tinkering on instruments, listening to songs of all styles, and watching other toddlers and adults interact with the music – including you as the guardian – help them learn social and musical skills at an early age!
Your toddler’s musical, interpersonal, and individual growth is determined by your investment as a parent because at this age, children are still extremely dependent on their guardian. Therefore, parent involvement and enthusiasm for music is an essential piece of both the group music class experience and the home experience. If you or an acquaintance is musically inclined, have them sing or play music for your child. Make it a joyful experience of sharing fun sounds in the living room. Your toddler will be wowed by the warmth of a singing voice, delighted the brightness of the piano, and entranced by the vibrato of the violin.
If you initiate these rich, musical experiences for your toddler, not only will you look back on those precious times fondly, but you will create a invaluable, holistic learning and growth opportunities for your child.
Below are some practical applications of the information you have just read about! Musical tools for toddlers offers some information and ideas for things they will be beneficial to know at their music lessons: their alphabet, how to count, and left from right. The section, things to do with toddlers suggests some ways in which you can help your child thrive in his or her first private music lessons! Happy music making!
Musical Tools for Toddlers:
*Letters of Alphabet – Learning the alphabet will make recognizing the 7 notes (A, B, C, D, E, F, & G) of music much easier!
*Counting – Try counting to 10 (or higher) with steady rhythms, walking, clapping, etc. If you have a metronome, have them count as high as they can with the metronome!
*Left & Right – Have your child trace their hands and name left and right! Once they start taking private lessons, they will be confident telling their right from left when their teacher says, “Please place your right hand on the piano.”
Things to Do with Toddlers:
*Music Play Class – Sign up you and your toddler for music classes here at Northwest School of Music!
*Musical Games at Home – Have some small instruments handy for your child to bang on OR play musical chairs with your child and his/her friends!
*Swaying & Dancing – Sway and dance with your child to various styles of music. This will create positive associations with music and help your child to have a natural sense of rhythm!
*Identification Games – Teach your child to identify the images and sounds of instruments! They’ll love the challenge!
Standley, J. M., Walworth, D., & Nguyen, J. (2009). Effect of Parent/Child group music activities on toddler development: A pilot study. Music Therapy Perspectives, 27(1), 11-15. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/