Want to Improve Your Child's Music Skills?
Enroll your child for the Atlas Mission – the ultimate learning companion for kids.
Enroll your child for the Atlas Mission – the ultimate learning companion for kids.
I was alone in my car at a traffic light, enthusiastically performing my one-woman rock concert to the radio, when I got kicked in the gut by my unborn child’s dancing feet.
It was a defining moment.
I realized then the importance that music would have in her life.
My baby particularly enjoyed the high notes. The next car over did too, I’m pretty sure.
What I didn’t know then was that I was training my child before she was even born to be a lover of music.
Since then I have had rattles shaken passionately right into my eyeballs (she inherited my enthusiasm, I see), I’ve politely ignored kitchen pot drumming, and sung along a few too many times to her new favorite nursery rhyme.
But it’s the passion, people. It’s the passion that I see when her uninhibited self is rocking out to I’m a little Teapot that lets me know she has caught the magic.
Music is magical – it can manipulate emotions, induce focus, and trigger memory. Einstein himself once said, “The greatest scientists are artists as well.” He said if he weren’t a physicist he would likely be a musician because he thinks, daydreams, and finds his joy with music.
In this increasingly competitive world where creative STEM skills are a must, isn’t it amazing to know that one of the greatest minds in the history of science believed that the knowledge necessary to acquire those skills can be found (at least partly) in music?
If you haven’t done much music exploring with your preschooler, don’t fear. This list will help get you started with 10 playful ways to make learning music fun.
Be careful though, I can’t be held responsible for the impromptu car singing and seatbelt dancing duets that are likely to result from too much preschool music fun.
Just be sure to drive next to us, we want to join too!
This is a game slowly learned over time. I like to play one composer (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, etc.) for a week or two to give my kids a chance to become familiar with that composer’s sound.
We talk briefly about the composer and I show them pictures to help them know what they look like, then the next week or so I introduce another one.
Before long I can play a few composers consecutively and quiz my preschooler on who they are.
Right answers get a high-five. Wrong answers earn mom a foot rub (kidding — mostly).
I took my preschool son to a ballet once; it was Beauty and the Beast.
I fully expected to spend the evening asking him to politely refrain from turning upside-down in his seat like a possum or reminding him (yet again) that boogers were meant to stay inside the nose and not be flung at the poor patrons in front of us, but my worries were for nothing.
He did amazingly well.
It turns out if you expose your kids to musically rich experiences, they become enchanted little beings and sit quietly mesmerized by the sounds. Of course, not all kids will react the same way and you might have one who isn’t quite ready to quit the booger flinging business.
If your nerves prevent you from trying the live thing, movies are a great substitute. Turn on some classic musicals (or even Disney movies) and enjoy learning and singing together at home on the couch.
This is a great rainy day activity and a quick search on the Internet will give you thousands of ideas. No matter what materials you have on-hand, you are likely to be able to create some fantastic preschool instruments.
Get it? Rubber-Band? Bad Joke? Okay, okay, let’s move on.
Enroll your child for the Atlas Mission and let your child play with this award-winning educational program. Your child will become better at music without even realizing it!
This is the best game for tiring out wiggly bodies. Create a stair scale by labeling eight index cards with: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do. Tape the Do card on the lowest step and go in order placing Re, Mi, and so on up the steps.
In this simple game, Mom sings the note and your preschooler must run to the correct step.
If your stairs are at home, leave the index cards up for a couple of weeks and have your preschooler sing as they go up and down.
This is a fun group game to get everyone moving to the music, so save this to play with your preschooler’s friends on a rainy day.
Simply turn on some music and have every one dance according to the way it makes them feel.
Classical might inspire some ballet, rock music might make them grouchy galloping gorillas – or not – there’s no right answer here. We just want them exploring the sounds and making the connection that music can affect certain feelings and moods.
Has a nap been taken? Lunch eaten? Contented mood all around? Yes?
How about your kids, are they okay too? Alright, then you’re ready to tackle the music store.
Tackle is the wrong word. You are now ready to quietly tip-toe into the very expensive instrument store to look and gather inspiration, but not touch.
While there, talk to the clerk and ask if they will demonstrate some of the instruments for you. Allow your child to ask him questions and enjoy learning from a mentor.
Make sure to leave while your child is still happy. This way he will have a good experience and want to come back later.
I used to think my sister loved me, up until we had a little argument and she sent my kid a kazoo.
True, the ear-grinding buzz I endured over the next few weeks was a genius passive aggressive move, but I don’t begrudge my sister her brilliance.
Instead, I convinced my daughter that Kazoos make excellent outdoorsy music and allow her to serenade the birds these days.
She’s full of buzzing musical joy and my neighbors haven’t complained of her concerts yet, so it’s win-win.
Plus, my sister’s generosity inspired my niece’s new birthday gift: a pair of giant hand cymbals. Win-win-win!
I learned this game by accident. One of my daughter’s stuffed friends was a bit too musical if we’re being honest. That little bunny would switch on randomly in the middle of the night and play us a raspy version of “Hush Little Baby” straight out of the horror movies.
We replaced the batteries, which helped, but I couldn’t shake the creepy feel of the Night Bunny. So one day, I tried to hide it, but accidentally hit the music button before chucking it behind the couch.
Like a bat, my daughter had that echo-located in no time. But it gave me an idea — training the ear to locate sound will give your preschooler a leg-up when they start to play their own instruments.
So I hid the toy again. And again. So far, she has been able to locate the sound and enjoy the game, so I’m continually making it harder.
Surely one day Night Bunny will be much too hard to locate and we will all have a good cry about it – albeit for different reasons.
Music was meant to be enjoyed by the masses. What better way to enjoy it, than when surrounded with several friends your same size?
These days you don’t need to look far to find a music class for little ones and each one has something else to offer. Some focus on theory, while others might focus on just having fun and exploring with the instruments.
Scope out a few different classes to see which is the right fit for preschool music jammin’.
Sure, watching others dance to the Hokey-Pokey is fun, but if you’re not allowed to get in there and shake it all about, you might as well take your left foot out and go home, right?
Point is, listening to others play music is wonderful, but your child wants to make some real preschool music already!
And if you’re wondering, yes, they are old enough to learn to play.
Choose your preschooler’s instrument based off of their maturity and your own ability to teach or outsource lessons.
That may mean they get a recorder or a lap harp, but many are ready for the likes of a piano or violin, so be brave and let them have fun!
P.S. Did you know that the Atlas Mission is the only educational program that teaches your child ALL the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century?
It covers both core skills like reading, writing & STEM, as well as 21st century skills like creativity, critical thinking, problem solving & coding.
Atlas Mission – the new educational program for 3-7 year old children that increases their awareness of other countries and cultures.
Jodi Burnett creates educational content for the Atlas Mission. In an earlier life, she used to write the parenting column for a leading regional newspaper, the Tremonton Leader. She now spends her days researching educational methods, playing with microscopes, homeschooling her 4 children, and having a crazy time learning out in the world alongside her kids. She lives near the gorgeous Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake City with her husband, 4 children, and a chubby snorting pug.