Studies indicate that learning music improves your child’s cognitive skills and academic performance. However, getting your child to learn how to play a musical instrument or enroll in a music class isn’t always a walk in the park.
Don’t get me wrong- there are days that your little one will be extremely excited to attend their piano lessons. But on other days, it will be a nightmare to convince them to practice for even ten minutes. So, how can you encourage your child to love music without endless fights?
Here are some expert tips that can help encourage your kids to love music positively. But, before we get right into it, let’s look at why music is so essential for children.
Benefits of Music to Children
Your child is most likely a big fan of music, which is good as it is beneficial to them in the following ways:
Music helps in auditory and speech recognition – Listening to music helps your child develop language skills. Music Groupies state that music mirrors the tempo, timbre, and pitch of our daily speech, which gives your child the practice they need to comprehend speech and language.
Improves their communication skills – When your child is listening to music, they learn how to pick out notes and rhythms, making it easier for them to read and identify sounds. Children who are encouraged to sing and repeat simple songs gain skills that are necessary for language development and effective communication. Your child also learns the art of communication by observing your facial expression as you sing to them.
Helps in regulating emotions – Music helps your child relax, and it’s even used to soothe babies to sleep. For children who have experienced trauma, music can help regulate their emotions. Besides, the different sounds that we make as we sing helps children learn about different emotions.
Helps build the brain of babies born prematurely – Music that is specifically composed for preemies helps them form essential brain connections. Moreover, such music improves the babies’ health by enhancing their oxygen saturation, heartbeat regulation, increased weight gain, and improving their sleep. It also strengthens the bond you have with your child, which can reduce your anxiety as a mother.
Improves your child’s cognitive skills – studies indicate that music improves your child’s logical reasoning, allows them to gain complex problem-solving skills, and also develops their memory systems.
Notably, even toddlers do recognize parts of a song if they hear that particular song repeatedly.
Improves your child’s mood – Music can lift a child’s spirit. From ancient times, music has been used to soothe babies to sleep due to its calming effect.
Improves your child’s coordination – You’ll notice that your little one who may not understand a song’s lyrics can move to the rhythm of a beat. Music encourages your child to move and develops their motor skills. If your child loves a particular song, you may notice that they jump up and down when the song is played. This movement enhances their balance, strength, and develops their muscles.
Ways You Can Use To Encourage Your Child to Love Music
Now that you know why music is so important for your kids, let’s look at ways you can use to motivate them to take that musical instrument and practice.
Listen To Music with Them
Listening to music with your kids is the first step towards nurturing their interest in music. Most celebrated musicians today admit that they grew up listening to some music at home.
Ensure you listen to music with your child even when doing house chores, driving, or doing other routine activities. You can also use music to refocus your child’s energy. For instance, playing a certain song may alert your child that it’s dinner time or time for an afternoon nap. While at it, let your child know the instruments playing or the genre of music they are listening to.
Enroll Your Kid in a Music Class
If your child shows interest in music or wants to learn to play a certain instrument, enroll them in a music class. If you’re in quarantine, there are some great online music classes available too. Music classes help develop your child’s artistic abilities. Further, music teachers have a unique way of ensuring that your child develops a meaningful relationship with music.
While looking for the right lessons, ensure you get the right teacher for your child. One who connects with them and understands their learning style as such a teacher can be their mentor and help nurture their talent.
Sing To Your Child
Singing with or to your child is a great way to increase their motivation and interest. Becoming part of the music process helps your child gain an interest in music.
If you sing or play a musical instrument, do it while your child is watching and listening. Your child will want to imitate you, and you can help them learn to play the instrument.
Incorporate Music in Play
Making music part of your child’s play helps them learn that music can be fun. It also allows them to experiment. Here are a few ways you can make music part of playtime:
- Get creative and make simple musical instruments and have a jam session with your kids
- Have each person write a song on a strip of paper and put the papers in a basket, let each person draw a paper and sing the song written on it
- Let your child tap a simple beat, and the others guess the song that matches this beat
- Choose a familiar song and let the children come up with new words to the song
- Let children sing a song or play an instrument and record them while doing it
Have a Goal for Each Practice SessionWill Francis (@willfrancis)
For older kids who may be learning to play an instrument, having a goal for every practice session is important. Having a goal makes them accountable and installs self-discipline in them.
Moreover, having a goal helps your child maximize their practice time such that they don’t practice aimlessly.
Remember to make practice fun by letting your child play their favorite music once in a while. You can also incorporate challenges, rewards, and games in your child’s practice sessions to motivate them to remain focused.
Celebrate Your Child’s Achievements
Celebrate your child’s musical accomplishments, however small they may seem. Don’t just verbalize it. You can create a journal or short videos that showcase your child’s accomplishments. You can also make a chart or board showing how far your child has come in their musical journey. When your child knows you are their biggest cheerleader, they will maintain a positive attitude and share with you the difficulties they are facing.
You now have some tips you can use to help your child develop a love for music. Use them and make music practice less painful and more fun.