TOP 10 TIPS to great music making
- Make music at a TIME that suits you both; when you are not in a rush but have plenty of time and your child is wide awake. Little and OFTEN is best, short sessions spent on a regular basis are better than occasional ones. Your child will enjoy it more as it becomes part of your routine, reinforcing their learning as you play.
- Choose short and REPETITIVE songs and revisit them regularly to reinforce their learning. Children love to sing their favourite songs over and over again. Also keep the session SHORT, ideally half an hour, depending on the age of your child.
- Give lots of PRAISE and encouragement; clap after each song and your children will feel good about their achievements.
- Choose developmentally APPROPRIATE songs for the age and ability of your child. Ensure the songs are within a limited range for your child to be able to follow, as their range is limited at a young age.
- Keep it ACTIVE, “feel” the music and songs through your whole bodies, whether it’s by dancing, swaying, clapping, marching, bouncing, doing actions, etc. Maintain a PACE that suits you and your child; take it slowly but watch and be ready to follow on with the next song to keep them fully engaged and stimulated.
- Choose a VARIETY of songs, rhymes and music, ideally contemporary and traditional, from different cultures including world music for children and from different genres. Include backing music for some songs and sing others without accompaniment; your child will love to hear your voice without any other sound.
- Have a CLEAR SPACE, with no immediate distractions from other toys or sounds. This will help maintain concentration. Sit opposite your child, whether on the floor or with baby on your lap. This way you can maintain eye contact and your child can clearly see your face for instructions and expression. You can also easily illustrate action for action songs.
- Write a PLAN for you to follow each time and keep them so that you can rotate them. Make sure you know all the words and the tunes to your chosen songs that day, you can always have the words next to you. Have everything you need ready before you start.
- Choose a range of good quality PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS. Buy the best for your child, these will provide the first sounds from musical instruments their developing ear will hear so make sure they are of the best quality sounds and truly represent their instrument.
- Above all make it FUN and exciting and be enthusiastic. Children learn best when they are having fun and if they see you enjoying yourself and singing they will want to join in and imitate you.
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