In previous posts we have talked about ways of introducing music to your children, especially in the infant-toddlerhood phase. We’ve mentioned the importance of singing to them and with them as well as the value of playing and adding bounces to their routines, but what can you do when your child is around 3 years old and already involved in music, but they haven’t been able to attend their music lessons every since the beginning of the pandemic?
One option, of course, is to join online music classes. In those classes, we work with the same curriculum as we do in person, but find creative ways to interact with each other even though we are not sharing the same space. However, we know that online lessons aren’t for everybody and that the extra screen time can be stressful for some children. In that case, our suggestion is to create your own music routine at home and keep nourishing your little one’s love for music.
You can start by creating a music corner in your home. Choose a space where your child can create and explore their musicality and add instruments you already have at home as well as materials you can use to make your own (like containers and rice to make shakers, tubs to make drums and spoons to play along with recorded music). Focus on non-pitched percussion instruments when you are singing and playing along. Those instruments will complement whatever you sing nicely without interfering with the pitches already existing in the song.
Choose a time when you usually play together and invite your child to make music with you in the musical corner! Ask them about their favourite songs, tell them yours and sing along while playing your instrument, or even a capella (just voice). Make instruments together, talk about how they sound, put some recorded music on and play along. Dance to your favourite jams! Moving to music is a great way to internalize certain concepts like beat and rhythm. Focus on making music together rather than just having music in the background as active music making is what will build the foundation for later learning. But most of all, have fun while making music with each other as the emotional connections you create in these moments are certainly going to last for life!