Introducing children to music at a young age is a great way to inspire their interest in it. The toddler years are an ideal time to expose them to music as they are acquiring new skills and abilities. Here are a few ways to help children learn about music:
- Feel the Beat: Responding to a musical beat is natural for humans. Even babies can sense music by moving to a beat or having someone help them feel it by tapping their arm or leg. Play music with a steady beat and have children move, tap, clap, stomp, or play an instrument to it.
- Sing Songs: Babies and toddlers love to hear their parents' voices and will try to join in even when they can only make gurgling noises. As they grow, they will start to join in when they hear familiar songs or music. Sing lullabies or nursery rhymes to them.
- Toy Musical Instruments: Giving children toy musical instruments is a great way to nurture their interest in music. These instruments don't have to be expensive, and children appreciate toys that make different sounds. Examples include sound shakers, maracas, xylophones, tambourines, trumpets, and small keyboards.
- Special Playlist: Create a special playlist on your computer or phone featuring songs your children enjoy and some of your own favorites. Make sure to include a variety of music and ensure that the songs are age-appropriate.
It's important to remember that children often learn about music through their parents. If you enjoy listening to music, they will be listening along with you. Music can also be used to distract, soothe, and teach new vocabulary to children. Encouraging them to dance can also help with muscle development, strength, and balance. Give them a variety of opportunities and observe what interests them, and then nurture that interest.