Young children have the ability to achieve basic musical skills, or pre-skills, with significantly more ease than older children and adults. When children learn to carry a tune, they are practicing pitch development; when they react to music with their bodies through movement and dance, they are strengthening their rhythm development; and when they get their fingers ready to play a musical instrument, they are developing their fine motor skills. All of these skills are exercised when we sing songs and play music together in the classroom. Continuing the music experience outside of the classroom is important and easier than you might think! Chances are you are already doing it!

Playing music on the stereo while dancing and singing along creates very special (and often camera-worthy) moments. My daughter and I play a game where we trade YouTube videos and listen to each other’s selections together. This is a great opportunity to begin talking to your child about music by asking what they like about a particular song. If your little one is too young to navigate YouTube, alternate between your favorite songs and some kid-friendly tunes.

Nothing can replace the experience of hearing music being performed live. While a child’s patience may be challenged to sit for a long concert, just a small amount of live music allows their imaginations to soar. Living in New York City provides endless opportunities to expose children to live performances. Something as informal as a nice Sunday brunch or with live music, or day performances in central park with music of any type can be very inspiring.

As parents, we may feel that we do not have a good voice or cannot carry a tune. However, we can still teach our children the joy of singing, and the first step is participation. Set the example by singing along to a song on the radio or maybe have an impromptu dance party! Singing with others helps a child feel more comfortable singing in front of others, while boosting their self-confidence.
Sing a Song:

By: Stuart Klinger, Music Teacher at Early Learning Foundations and York Avenue Preschool