Music is one area that can be a great parent and child bonding activity. From taking a baby to baby music classes, through music lessons. Then as they’re older to festivals and concerts. There are ways you can introduce children to music through the ages even if they don’t want to play a musical instrument themself.
Benefits of music
Whether playing or listening, there are so many benefits to having music in your life.
- Reducing stress, improve move
- Reliving memories – happy or sad
- Improve concentration
- Bonding with friends and family
- Meeting new people and opportunities to socialise
- Exploring different cultures through music
- Increasing experiences – visiting different venues or locations to hear music
- Expanding horizons – not getting stuck in a rut
- Making you want to get up and dance
- Improve sleep quality
- Helps with creativity
- Strengthens learning and memory
- It can increase motivation – pick the right music for your workout, and you’ll work harder.
- Understand music and really hear music, and it’ll help you if you want to dance.
We’ve always played music at home and listen to it in the car, and N enjoys listening to his own choices now. Although he’s always refused to learn an instrument (other than recorder at primary school for a short time that they all did). But I’ve tried to introduce him to a range of music in the hope that he’ll appreciate more, but be able to choose the music he needs for different situations in his life. Hopefully he’ll end up with an appreciation of music wider than just what he listens to with his peers and have a more eclectic love of music.
Getting children into music can be a fun and rewarding experience for both the child and the parents. Here are some ways to help introduce children to music.
How to introduce children to music
Start exposing your child to music as early as possible. This can be through formal or informal methods. Just at home, play music in the house, sing to your child, and use musical toys to help them learn. Or why not try baby music classes which can be great fun and help that early association that music is part of life, and is enjoyable.
Listen to different types of music
While most people have a favourite genre, it’s always better to play different kinds. Expose them to different sounds, rhythms, and instruments. It may give them more ideas and options if they want to take up playing music later, but also means they’re more open to trying and listening to different things.
Attend concerts and live performances
Take your child to live concerts and performances. These can start young – try community fairs and festivals, free park music events, or try children’s concerts. We used to go to Cushion Concerts run at one of the universities in our nearest city which were themed on a different musical instrument each time and were interactive for children.
Live music helps them appreciate the energy and excitement compared with listening at home without visuals.
Make music together
Sing and play instruments together as a family. You can make your own instruments when they’re young (who needs a drumkit when you’re young), or learn instruments together as you go. Why not look out for outdoor musical instrument settings when you’re out visiting new places. Parks and attractions sometimes have these available.
Talk about music and bands
Music isn’t just about listening or playing music. There’s also the history of it, sharing your own memories and experience of music. And if you know any musicians, talk about music with them. Musicians often have great stories to tell which children will enjoy.
Try music lessons
Children can learn to play an instrument or sing from a fairly young age. It can be quite lonely if they’re just practising and playing alone. So get them signed up to a music group, music school, or orchestra, so they can have those shared experiences with other children, and learn from them.
There are many online resources and apps that can help teach children about music, from interactive games and apps to music theory lessons. You can now also learn to play instruments online (although nothing’s going to beat face to face teaching and personal feedback.
If you’re listening rather than playing, make use of music streaming services like Spotify, Amazon and others. We’re finding it frustrating with skips being severely limited on Prime Music now, as well as getting forced to listen to recommended music. But if you want more from your music offer, there’s always premium subscriptions that remove ads and give you better options. Create and share playlists, and discover new music.
There are also musical game apps – musical tiles was a big favourite amongst N and his friends for a while. and we both like playing the piano arcade game when we’re at a seaside resort and visit the arcades.
Young children love to move and dance to music, so have a kitchen disco, or enjoy dancing at festivals or other music events. There’s plenty of families dancing together doing Tiktok trend dances, so why not find some and learn them yourself together. Learning to dance means you start to listen more to the rhythm, layers, and suitablility of music.
Make it fun
Music is fun, so fine music and instruments that inspire your child. Encourage your child to explore their own musical interests and passions, and listen together if they’re open to that.
Remember, the most important thing is to create a positive and encouraging environment for your child to explore and enjoy music.
Hopefully by sharing and discovering music together through their childhood, it’ll create a bond and mutual appreciation of each other’s musical tastes and experiences.
How does your family encourage a love of music?