Help your Child Develop Musical Ability
All of the following activities are important to help children develop
their natural musical ability as well as ensure they reap the
intellectual rewards of music.
Singing: Singing comes naturally to most children and for those that
don't we can encourage them to experiment with song by providing a
safe and affirming environment until their confidence builds. Singing
teaches pitch accuracy and is helpful in ear training and learning to
hear music in one's head. We hear our voice differently to how we hear
other sounds and that's an important part of developing musicality.
Steady Beat Activities: The steady beat is the continuous underlying
pulse in music. Being able to latch onto and keep the beat is
essential to singing or playing an instrument successfully and
musically. Some children have a magnificent natural ability to keep
the beat and demonstrate it all the time by rocking, clapping, tapping
or walking to the beat, whereas others will need to learn and practice
this skill. Feeling patterns through music will help to build the
logical foundations necessary for higher mathematical and scientific
Movement: Moving to music helps to internalize abstract musical
concepts such as the beat and speed (tempo). Through movement children
express their feelings. It also helps them develop impulse control and
large motor skills and coordination. When children move to music they
help to build a sense of balance, and work out where their bodies are
Tonal and Rhythm Patterns: Sounds at different pitches (tones) and the
combinations of short and long sounds (rhythm) form the basic
vocabulary of music - the words and phrases of music. As with learning
language, children need to hear, echo, and finally read and write
these essential building blocks starting at an early age. Nursery
rhymes and early simple repetitive songs, or with older children, rap
music, are great ways to introduce this aspect of music.
Playing Instruments: Making and playing simple tonal instruments such
as xylophones or keyboards helps children to visually map the
relationship between high and low sounds (discover the musical "number
line"). Rhythm instruments provide the chance to practice beat and
rhythm competency as well as to find creative ways of producing sound.
Listening Activities: Short listening activities help children develop
focus and stimulate the imagination - the beginning of abstract
thinking skills. Learning to really listen - to discriminate sounds
and their messages in an age of noise bombardment and visual
distraction - is a life skill essential to all learning. The brain
thrives on pattern, and the more intricate the patterns of sound, as
with classical music, the greater the learning.
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