How could you not love making music with children? I love providing music therapy programs for little ones at public libraries and in our Sprouting Melodies® classes. And I love making music with older children in afterschool groups. But honestly, the best part is knowing that Moms, Dads and other caregivers can bring those songs home and develop the music making at home.
So on that note, here are 4 reasons why I love making music with children:
1. Music is Music – Simple Enough
There is nothing like sharing in the simplicity of music making with a child. As a newborn, music is a profound experience that causes the baby to stop and look around, waiting and watching. As children age, they become more and more aware of the environment and still attend to music as if it is a huge presence in the room. I learn a lot from their experience of music.
2. Progress is obvious – and so much fun to observe!
When you see children, young and old, master a musical task in a song, the progress is crystal clear! I enjoy working in groups of 6-7 weeks because at the end of a session, the progress from beginning to end is absolutely magnificent! We can all sit around and say, “Do you remember when we first started this group?”
The same is true with a child at home. With repetition, you see great growth! Every time a song is shared, children soak it in. With even more repetition, they are able to make the music their own. And it is really is fun to see.
3. Music making with children is joyful!
When you can see the anticipation of a musical phrase in a baby’s eyes, smile, and body movements, it is shear joy! And as the baby grows (which happens much too quickly), the joyful responses become joyfully contagious! It’s hard to not laugh with a 3 year old when playing the drum, or a 7 year old delighted to be strumming to the blues on the guitar!
4. Bonding through music is natural
There is a closeness in making music with your child that goes beyond a song. It is our common understanding that songs and lullabies create intimate shared moments for babies and caregivers. With repetition, those shared musical moments create meaningful bonds.
The same can be said for music making with older children. Think about all of the stress and conflict in our parental relationships with our children. From putting on shoes in the morning, to clearing the dinner table, to brushing teeth. There are plenty of events that take us away from bonding with our kids. Making music on a regular basis with your children returns some of he playful bonding to our relationships that we all need.