Latest Posts • May 29. 2021
There is a reason why the biographies of many musicians begin with phrases like “Music was put in my cradle. I grew up in a musical family.” Anyone who naturally comes into contact with music at an early age is unlikely to succumb to false beliefs such as “I am unmusical.” Instead, he or she learns that musicality is something natural, something we don’t have to learn explicitly. Musicality is within us and unfolds if we only have enough contact with it. With musicality it is like with the first language we speak. No one would think of explaining the grammar of his or her mother tongue to a toddler or having him or her learn words by heart. The ability to speak develops. And the same is true for musicality. I am often asked by parents how they can support this development and how they can integrate more music into everyday life. I have three very simple tips for this.
1. Don’t be shy!
Children are not afraid of making mistakes. Parents should take this as a model, especially in musical terms. Many parents don’t dare to sing with their children because they think they sing crooked and can’t hit a note. First of all, this is a matter of practice, and secondly, it doesn’t matter to children at all. A child loves it when parents sing with him or her, regardless of the way they sing. The great thing about singing is: you can do it anytime and anywhere, while bathing, falling asleep or during a long car ride…
Always remember: If you are not willing to make mistakes, you cannot learn anything new.
Also, you have to refrain from comparing yourself to the best. If you ask someone if they can run, most people say “yes” and just do it because they don’t compare themselves to Usain Bolt. When it comes to singing or making music, most people immediately have their favorite musicians in mind and feel like they can’t stand up to that comparison.
2. No noise, rhythm!
Don’t be afraid of loud sounds. Especially for the musical development of young children, it’s great if they can freely discover “noisemakers” such as drums, claves and rattles. These can also be scattered around the apartment. Sooner or later, children will discover and explore the instruments. Of course, you can also utilize cooking pots and wooden spoons or test out what kind of noise an upside-down trash can or paper makes when it is crumpled…
Free play is especially important here, because children have the opportunity to try things out for themselves. Free play is essential for learning through play. That’s why it is also an important part of our Kling-Klong concept, and we witness every day how great the children develop their musicality in the process.
Many instruments, which are especially suitable for small children, can even be built together quite simply. A rattle made of rice grains and a brightly painted toilet paper roll, self-carved claves… With this, children get a completely different approach to the instruments and the sounds.
3. Experiencing music
Trying out instruments, making instruments – you can experience music in so many different ways and you can experience it with all your senses. Music and movement also belong together. And you should indulge in this more often in everyday life with your children. In addition to specific music games, you can also simply turn up your favorite song and everyone moves to it as they like – this even works while cooking or hanging the laundry. Learning about music also involves getting to know different types of music. Those who always play “only” classical music or always “only” the same rock band are foregoing the diversity that music offers. Sometimes listening to something very quiet, sometimes something wild, sometimes sounds of nature, sometimes jazz, sometimes soul, sometimes salsa. This is also a way to experience the emotions that music conveys and the different moods it triggers. It is also important to be interested in music and to listen carefully. Even with younger children, you can have an excellent conversation about music. You just have to ask the right questions. Why do you like this song so much? Why don’t you like it? Which part do you like the most? Can you hear a particular instrument? What do you feel when you hear this song?
“Music expresses what cannot be said and what is impossible to be silent about.” (Victor Hugo).
Listening to music in the sense of really listening is important, and listening to music
together creates a bond.
Babies in the womb can perceive music from about the 16th week of pregnancy.
And: they respond to the sounds! Researchers observed how fetuses opened their
mouths and stuck out their tongues when a flute sonata was played to them.
It is suspected that this is related to the stimulation of language circuits in the brain.
This is an exciting topic that I also studied for my book Unleash the Secret of Education
and Learn How to Raise a Happy Child.
More music in everyday life is actually quite easy to accomplish. And both the children and the family life benefit from it – and not just in musical terms. Because a shared interest in music also has a positive effect on relationships within the family, appreciation and togetherness. And when the child is at the right age to learn an instrument, the next question is usually how to maintain the playfulness and make the child enjoy practicing. This is what one of my next blogposts will be about.