Music is something that unites people, regardless of their age, gender, or nationality. In fact, you could probably go to the farthest corner of the world and still find people who make some kind of music. Now, you probably listen to music for pleasure but did you know that it also has a number of benefits for your kids?
See, when you listen to music, various parts of the brain are activated – not just the auditory parts. When this happens, your child’s brain forms stronger connections. So, how does this help your little one? Well, it can make it a lot easier for them to grasp language, boost their memory, and even improve their motor control!
Now, if your child doesn’t seem too keen on listening or responding to music, you may be wondering just how it is that they gain all of the benefits mentioned above. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks that you can learn to encourage your little one’s interest in music. Here’s what you can do.
Go On a Musical Journey
As much as it would be nice for your child to fall in love with the compositions of Mozart and Beethoven, there is a good chance that this isn’t going to happen. At least, not when they are little. Unlike you, your children haven’t already made decisions regarding what good or bad music is. They probably don’t have preferences when it comes to music either.
This affords you the perfect opportunity to do a bit of research with them. Allow them to listen to all kinds of music ranging from pop to country to rock n roll. Don’t just expose them to the type of music that you prefer.
Now, when you start listening to lyrics through ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ ears you are going to quickly realize just how inappropriate some songs really are. At this point, it is a good idea to start constructing a list of songs that you can listen with your children without being in the awkward position of having to explain subject matter that is too mature for them.
Sing With Them
Let’s face it, most parents would rather avoid singing to their kids, if possible. This is because not all of us have great voices and would only embarrass ourselves if we tried to sing. In reality, you may be even tone-deaf. This, however, shouldn’t prevent you from singing to your kids at all.
For one thing, singing to very young kids can actually help with their language development. This is because when your child is just a baby, hearing mommy or daddy sing to them actually prepares their brain for various words and how they sound. This could make it a lot simpler for them to grasp language later on.
So those are the scientific reasons for why you should sing to your kids. There are also emotional-based reasons. The truth is that your kids don’t actually care that you don’t sound like Adele or Sam Smith and, honestly, they probably wouldn’t even notice. Instead, they will be thrilled to be an audience member of one (or more) at your concert.
Also, don’t you want your little one to have the confidence to do almost anything? When you sing to them loud and proud, regardless of what you sound like, you will be showing them that what matters is that they do what makes them happy. Now, can you imagine a more powerful lesson than that?
Encourage Them to Learn an Instrument
Just listening to music can do wonders for your child but these advantages can be bolstered even further if your little one decides to learn to play an instrument. At the same time, you should be careful about how you proceed with this.
First things first, you should never force your child to pick up an instrument, as this will take all the fun out of the experience. What’s more, this tactic will also essentially ensure that your child associates music and instruments with negative emotions. What you should do instead is to guide them towards this idea and only pursue it if they seem interested.
The other thing to keep in mind is the choice of instruments. Most parents would prefer it if their kids chose to play the piano or the violin as these instruments appear more prestigious. Despite this, it is quite possible that your little one will show little to no interest in them. So, let them decide what they want to play – within reason. Even if they decide they would rather strum a guitar or bang away on a set of drums, this should be their choice to make.
Get Your Groove On
Just as with singing, you may be hesitant to bust a move if you have two left with feet. Well, as with your singing ability, your kids aren’t going to care too much about your rhythm or lack thereof. Instead, they will be more concerned with the fun they have while dancing.
This is why you should try to encourage your little one to dance to their favorite songs. If you like, you can even choreograph your own routine. The goofier it is, the better. Then, you can have small dance shows for other members of your family. The reason that dancing is so significant is because it gives your kids a whole new way to appreciate music.
If your kids don’t seem to respond to music on the radio too well, you may find that live music is a much better option. For one thing, they will be able to attend these shows with others who have a wonderful appreciation of music. Just make sure that you choose concerts that are age-appropriate. Pick artists or bands that are upbeat and encourage them to move or are able to keep your little ones entertained.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can encourage your child’s love of music. Now, the only thing left to do is to actually try out these suggestions and see what works best for you.