If you’re an athlete, you probably want your child to play sports. If you love cars, you surely will encourage your child to get under the hood too. If you’re a music lover, you want to encourage a toddler’s love of music from an early age.
And even if you aren’t the world’s biggest music fan, there are a host of benefits to be found in encouraging a toddler to enjoy music. Getting a young person into music helps them develop language skills, develop special intelligence, and may even increase IQ and boost test scores in school. It can help create a mentally healthier and happier child and improve moods as well.
With all the things that go into taking care of a toddler on a daily basis, something like encouraging your toddler’s love of music can get lost in the shuffle. Fear not though, there are a few very easy ways you can accomplish this with minimal effort and in ways you can enjoy too.
Here are a few tips on how you, as a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or friend, can encourage a toddler’s love of music.
One of the most important ways that toddlers learn is by modeling the behavior of their parents and other adults in their life. If you are a healthy eater or an outdoorsy person, chances are your kids will follow your lead. The same is true with music. If you want your kids to love music like you do, listen to it with them.
Yes, sometimes it seems that music aimed specifically at toddlers is simple and somewhat repetitive. But simple melodies and repetitive rhythms help toddlers learn melody, harmony, and rhythm. And listening along shows them that you think music is important and enjoyable. Also, don’t be afraid to mix it up. Even toddlers will love your favorite catchy pop tunes and if they see you love rap, rock, or metal, or classical music, they may too.
You may not have Adele’s singing chops, but you don’t need to if you want to encourage your kids to love music. Sing to them, sing songs with them, make songs up for them, and they’ll find out that singing to them is a great way to have fun. It’s great for your kids to hear you sing occasionally. It doesn’t really matter what you sing or how you sing it. All that matters is that you show them that singing is part of life. If you seriously aren’t comfortable doing that, humming and whistling are good alternatives.
Hearing you sing around the home will help kids develop language skills and understand how to put words and melody together. In addition, even if you think you don’t have a great voice, your toddler may not agree. Kids love hearing their loved ones’ voices and to them, it may be a soothing sound that makes them feel at ease and will help them associate their love of music down the line with their love for their parent or other adult.
This used to be a fantastic idea, but in 2020, with a global pandemic sweeping the world, it may not be as easy as it used to be. Seeing a show with your toddler exposes them to the power of live music and allows them to start understanding the concept of different musicians with different instruments working together to make one beautiful song.
There are still plenty of options to see live or live-ish music even as large-scale concerts and shows are not allowed. Many musicians are doing online concerts and live streams from their homes. You can get the feel of a concert right in your living room. There is also a treasure trove of old concert videos on YouTube and in some locales, small, socially distanced, outdoor live music events are starting to come back. These all allow you to share the gift of live music with your toddler, even in these trying times.
When children are learning to speak, it is also the best time to learn a second language because they are already open to the language learning process. The same idea can be applied to a musical instrument. To How to encourage a toddler’s love of music, start your child at a very young age, as it will be easier for them to pick up along with everything else they are learning.
Kids can start playing instruments as soon as they can sit up and bang a drum. According to experts, toddlers around the age of 3 are able to start receiving more formal lessons and between 5 and 10 kids can really start learning to play most major instruments. Just be careful not to force your toddler into playing an instrument. Giving them access and seeing if they take to it is the way to go.
If your child likes to sing, dance, or play an instrument, make a recording of them doing so and let them see or hear it back. This is easier than ever nowadays since all of us basically have professional-grade video cameras and recording studios in our pockets. Use these tools to record your child like they are a real musician.
Recording your child and letting them watch it will show them that they too can create music like the music they hear on the TV or from the speakers.This will inspire many kids to not only become a lover of music but to be a creator of music as they get older.
Setting out to encourage a toddler’s love of music is one of the most amazing gifts you can give. It will serve them well cognitively and developmentally, and will allow you to share some great cultural touchstones. As your toddler turns into a full-blown kid, then a teenager, then a fellow adult, you can continue to share your love of music and both of you will look back on the time you spent developing that love together.
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