Creating a musical environment for your family
Do you want your children to grow in a musical environment? You may be looking forward to it because you are already aware of the multiple advantages music has for children of all ages (and hey, also for adults!). Besides, young children spend a lot of their time at home, especially when they are still preschoolers, that tender age in which the benefits of music are even more noticeable. That’s reason enough for us parents to facilitate as much as possible the musical immersion at home!
With the right tools and habits, we can adequate our home environment to increase the contact our children have with all kinds of music, in order to awaken in them the love for it. And though it is certainly fun, we are not only talking about hitting pots and pans with wooden spoons. Here are a few habits you can start implementing today in your children’s daily routine!
Just keep the
First thing first, if you want your kids to grow up in a musical environment, you have to make them listen to music. To a lot of it! Simply turning on the radio and singing a few hit songs will not make your kids truly appreciate the whole variety of musical genres, artists, and instruments.
On the other hand, there is no reason to constrain yourself to classical music when you can listen to pop songs, jazz, blues, country, music from different parts of the world, movie soundtracks, etc. I mean, even when we all know fresh vegetables are great for your health, you’d be bored if you had a salad for dinner every single evening, right? So you’d better get used to playing all kinds of music at home during most part of the day.
Actively listen to
all kinds of music
Playing music at home is a big part of creating a musical environment, but at one point it may become just part of the background unless you spend some time attending and interacting with it. Talk to your child about how a piece of certain music makes them feel, whether they like it or not, how the music makes them move their hands or feet, etc.
Of course, everyone should have a saying in the playlist, also your kids! Give them the opportunity to show you the new artists they get to know, and please, avoid judging their preferences. After all, your children are developing their preferences together with their personalities.
Turn daily chores or
routines into musical moments
Do your children help you set the table before having dinner? Do they tidy up their bedrooms or do other household chores? Well, they should! But of course, any parent knows it may be a never-ending story to actually get them to help. You should know music could actually be a great tool! For example, there is a fun experiment in which you can turn household chores into a fun game. You do this by researching whether your child takes longer to do them when listening to music with a low tempo!
Or, if your child
has to do something she doesn’t particularly enjoy, like preparing their
schoolbag or doing the washing up, you can tell them they can choose the music
to listen to while completing the chore. Just as our beloved Mary Poppins
sings, “a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.”
Because you are a role model for your child, nothing will make them more interested in music than to see you playing an instrument or singing. It is great to practice in front of them and to let them listen to your progress, and also your efforts when you try and still don’t succeed!
Thus said, playing together with daddy or mummy is way more interesting than only listening to them. If either of the parents is a musician, seize any chance you have to play music with your child. It doesn’t matter if children can’t still play very well, as the whole point of making music together is sharing great family time, having fun, and exploring the possibilities the different kinds of musical instruments have to offer. Even babies can enjoy listening to mummy or daddy playing music, and at the same time clap their little hands, or make music with all kinds of objects.
Sing and dance
You don’t need to be a musician yourself to have fun and make music with your children! You can always have a great time just singing or dancing along with your favorite songs. Most adults restrain from singing because they believe they do not sing well. You know what? Your child loves to hear you sing! And you sound amazing to them! So relax, play your songs of choice and enjoy some good karaoke night with all your family.
Approach to music
through other activities as well
You may not be a great musician, and your children may not be taking music lessons yet (perhaps you are waiting for them to reach the ideal age, or they still have to choose a new after school activity). Yet, you can still create a musical environment by developing sound awareness or motivating their curiosity. How about paying attention to the outdoor sounds when you are in the park? For example, try differentiating the way each kind of bird sings. Or make them listen to an old siren down the road, and ask them which direction they think the sound is coming from.
There are all
kinds of videos, movies, and TV shows you can watch with your children that can
teach them a lot about music! Sit together with them and talk about what you
If your child
loves arts and crafts, you can suggest they draw or paint as they listen to
music. Or you can invite them to turn different materials into homemade musical
By growing in a
musical environment, chances are your child will learn to love music, treasure
it, and gain significant mental and social skills because of that.