Kids and music are a natural combination. When music is playing, even babies will bop their heads in appreciation. As they get bigger, almost all kids enjoy twirling, dancing, and stomping to music. What looks, on the surface, like child’s play is in fact a wonderful developmental tool. Music and movement, for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers is a way to begin learning about the world around them.
Learning and Having Fun
The best way for young children to learn is through play. You certainly cannot sit a two-year-old down with flash cards and expect a positive response, but if you set the information on those cards to music, the child will happily learn. In addition to becoming skilled at memorising lyrics, music offers children the opportunity to get a feel for the rhythm of language. And by encouraging children to move and sway with the music, we are not only opening them up to artistic interpretation, but are teaching them about body awareness and self-confidence, too.
Developing an Appreciation of Music and Movement
Introducing children to music and movement can begin with newborns being rocked and sung to by their parents. Fussy babies find such activity comforting and parents, too, usually enjoy this one-on-one time with their infant. As the baby matures, parent and child classes that allow for romping and boisterous play along with varying styles and tempos of music are beneficial for children. Not only do they learn and have fun, but the classes are wonderful opportunities for parent/child bonding.
Healthy Emotional Outlets
Dancing and moving in time with music are wonderful ways for children to express their emotions. From slow, relaxing music to strong, upbeat tunes, children who get to experience many types of musical expression can learn to associate moods with music. Instructors of preschool music and movement classes frequently encourage the children to talk about how different pieces of music make them feel. Just as adults find that certain songs can cheer them up when they are feeling down while others may help them to unwind after a stressful day, children can form a similar connection with music.
Modern parents often worry that their children do not get enough exercise. Today’s kids are likely to be involved in more scheduled activities than their parents were, but often, kids are driven to their various activities. A generation ago, kids walked, ran, rode bikes, and skipped rope for exercise and fun. Today’s technically savvy kids are more likely to be reading their email after school or playing video games. Music tends to get people off of their feet. Classes that stress music and movement provide kids with a great outlet for energy while strengthening their bodies through enjoyable exercise.
Choosing a Class
Many organised music and movement classes are available for children from birth to school aged. These classes offer children the opportunity to develop their motor skills as well as their social skills. Additionally, kids increase their vocabularies, counting skills, and understanding of stories by listening to songs, finger plays, and narrative selections. Some classes even utilise simple instruments, encouraging the children to bang drums or shake tambourines. Music and movement classes that are led by an experienced instructor give children the gifts of music appreciation, body confidence, emotional expression, and so much more.
Kids Interested in Music?
If your child is interested in learning to play a musical instrument, you’ll find lots of useful information and advice in the Playing an Instrument section of www.exploringmusic.co.uk.