Published On: Tue, Oct 16th, 2012

Making Music Part Of Your Family Everyday

We all know that music is great for kids. Turn on Playschool or Nick Jr and most childrenʼs television shows are all based around songs and music, so it must be good, right? In fact music, when combined with movement is THE ONLY activity that stimulates your child’s whole brain. Pretty amazing when you think about it – so how can you get this fabulous whole brain stimulating activity into your childrenʼs and familyʼs lives more? Itʼs easier than you think, and you donʼt have to have the Wiggles CD on permanent high rotation to do it! So here are a few ideas to get yMaking Music Part of your Family's Every Dayou started.

Routine Songs
A ʻwake up in the morning songʼ or ʻhello songʼ as you open the bedroom blinds in the morning, a mealtime ditty, ʻcar songʼ as you are on your way out for the day, ʻpacking the toys awayʼ song when itʼs time to clean up after playtime and a ʻgoodnightʼ song when you are tucking your little one to bed. These songs can be as simple as “Toys away, Toys away” or “Good morning, Good morning – itʼs time to rise and shine”, make up your own tune or get your child to help you. My daughter made up her first song at age 18months which was called “The Avocado Song” and creatively went “Avocado, Avocado, Avocado” over and over… she is now eleven and still sings her Avocado song when she sees them at the shops or on the kitchen bench or on her plate for dinner!

Music Time at Home
Have 15-20 minutes each day where you just stop what you are doing and turn the music up. Turn your lounge room into your own private dance party. Great to do if someone is in a bad mood (parent or child)! It instantly distracts and diffuses any tension at home and makes you live in the moment. You could be dancing to Hi-5, Pink, AC/DC or Mozart!

Start a Music Box
Fill some unused tupperware with rice or dried pasta, turn some used Milo or Formula tins into drums and find some scarves you no longer use and you have a music box for children to play with.

Teaching your children to relax and unwind is such an important skill and not enough children know how to do it, in fact, not many adults do either. Lie down on the floor, turn the lights down and put on some quiet, calm music. Have a cuddle or get some flashlights out and see if the kids can make the lights dance on the ceiling to the sound of the music.

Sing your Instructions
Try it, I promise your children will pay attention, listen and think itʼs fun! eg. “Chloe put your jacket on, Chloe put your jacket on, Chloe put your jacket on itʼs getting cold” (sung to ʻPolly put the kettle onʼ).“But I canʼt sing” I hear you say. It doesnʼt matter, honestly, your children donʼt care, at least not until they are 10 and then they will tell you!

Play Lots of Different Styles of Music 
Music can really set a mood and children who are exposed to different types and styles of music will benefit and have a well rounded musical library in their heads. My children get a bit of AC/DC, Talking Heads and Creedance from Dad and from me they get a bit of everything else – Jazz, Blues, Top 40, Classical and a few Show Tunes (who doesnʼt love The Sound of Music?).

Music will get you through the Groundhog days, stressful days and just the everyday. Try it and you will see, itʼs a wonderful gift you can give your children and they will thank you for it one day.

By Kylie Clift 2012
Copyright 2012

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Kylie Clift is a licensed Kindermusik Educator and runs Jim Jam Music, an early childhood music school on Sydneyʼs North Shore offering weekly music classes for babies up to 6 year olds. For more information on Kylie and her music classes, follow the link.

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