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Leisure

Teach Your Child to Sing & Appreciate Music

Educational and neurological researchers have studied the affects of music on the development of young children. Needless to say, the benefits it has created in early learning give a significant advantage to those children who are introduced to music and singing at a young age. In fact, studies have shown a sufficient increase in mathematical abilities, social skills, memory, literacy, and general intelligence in those children who take music lessons (whether that is singing lessons or a specific instrument) on a regular basis.

There is no doubt that music consistently plays a significant role in a child’s mind, especially with the findings at the Rotman Research Institute. Their research concluded, after a year of following six children with no musical training and six children who were just beginning to study music, that after a period of only four months the children studying music had increased developmental changes. You can read the entire article, *Researchers find first evidence that musical training affects brain development in young children over the course of a years, in the resources section of the article.

Parents don’t have to be musically inclined to teach their own children how to sing, the important thing is to introduce the concept to your children as early as you can. Even as young as infancy can greatly benefit children as they grow learn and develop. A way to do this is to simply place a CD player in your child’s room with soft instrumental music, such as the works of Mozart, Beethoven or Chopin. As well as simply singing to your baby can be a great way to increase their brain waves, introduce the musical experience, and connect with your growing child.

Preschool
Preschoolers love to swing, sing and dance along with children’s tunes and their parent’s favorite musical collections. Think back to when you were a child and you heard your parents sing, or heard music playing in your home or congregation. Dance, sing and swing with your children at least two-three times a week (time allowing), this will not only help you and your children to connect on a fun level, but will melt away the stress from your daily life or work week.

When teaching your child to sing at this level, allow their sound to come out without pushing anything. Teach them easy songs that you can harmonize together such as, the ABC’s, Mary had a little lamb, you are my sunshine, Row, Row, Row your boat, and a variety of other nursery rhythms and children’s songs. Try to keep them short, but fun. Have fun singing those tunes together.

Main points to address:

  • Sing and dance with your child to your favorite music.
  • Teach them short, but fun children’s songs.

Grades K-3rd
Children in this age group will enjoy running around the house singing their favorite songs, if you have those songs recorded on a CD you can show them the importance of keeping on melody and pitch with the performer. Children will begin to understand the difference in pitches and melodies. You can point out the difference in the ranges in each singer’s voice.

The basic voice tones include Alto or Contralto (the lowest in the three traditional tones found in a woman), Mezzo-Soprano (female singing voice that is a minor third lower that the Soprano, Soprano (the highest female voice), Baritone (the male voice), and the Tenor (highest natural adult voice).

As the basic tones are emphasized point them out, “right there she hit the highest point in her voice, the soprano. EEven if you can’t sing very well, show your child this range in your own voice. Controlling your voice is difficult but very important to be able to sing properly and propel the voice to the extent it can reach, resources and musical reference books can help you to obtain this goal with your children, a few are pointed out in the resource section of this article to help you.

Main points to address:

  • Point out different pitches and tones with different singers.
  • Review reference books and web sites on controlling your voice.

Grades 4th-6th
Children in this age group may begin to appreciate music that is current with the trend or that their friends are listening to. Be sure to monitor the music that is popular, as musical trends change so does the moral status of the lyrics, it’s important to make sure the music your child is interested in or listening to gives a message that you approve of. Listen to this kind of music with your child, even if it is not your favorite type of music.

In fact, both you and your child should experience a variety of music. Purchase CD’s in all musical genres such as country, pop, R&B, rock, classic rock, classical and any other genre that will give you both an appreciation for music.

This is also a great time to introduce different instruments to your child. Whether you would like your child to learn one instrument on a personal level, or you would like for them to get to know all the instruments it is a great addition to the appreciation of music and learning how to sing.

Main points to address:

  • Be sure to monitor the music your child listens to and make sure the message is appropriate.
  • Introduce a variety of instruments to your children.

Just for thought
There are a number of musical instructors around the world that offer classes and instruction on singing, instruments, or musical education. As an option you can always find a musical instructor that you feel comfortable with and allow your child to take classes to give them a better understanding and a more comprehensible format for learning.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

Posted in Leisure.

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