Parent Education Moments
Importance of Parent's Voice:
Did you know that your child is pre-wired to attend to your voice over all others—to learn more from your voice than from others? So, while it’s great for your child to hear me sing and to hear the group sing, the most important voice is yours. So, sing out, knowing that you are giving the gift of music to your child in a way that no one else can.
Did you know that your children learn something from you that they can’t learn from anyone else? They learn from you the “disposition” to make music, or the desire to make music. They can learn skills from any teacher throughout their lives, but they can only learn the love of making music from you.
Some of you might be wondering, “When is my child going to LEARN music?” At Music Together®, instead of focusing on learning musical concepts, we support learning through immersion. Music Together classes are not goal-oriented—we create musical experiences for your child rather than measuring his musical achievements. Your child will develop musically with this support and with your music-making model, so relax, have fun, and know that you are giving your child everything he needs right now to learn and grow musically.
The Kinesthetic Learner:
Have you noticed that your child likes to stand and move throughout most of class? He might be a “kinesthetic learner”—or someone who needs to use his whole body to learn and process information. This is why as long as the situation is safe, it’s OK for him to move around during class—if he really is a kinesthetic learner and we forced him to sit still, that might actually stop his learning altogether.
Importance of Movement:
You might wonder why we do so much movement in our Music Together classes. Research has shown that children must experience rhythm in their bodies before they can audiate it, or hear it inside their heads. You can help them by making your movements clear and purposeful, to help them see the beat. And, you can even tap the rhythm on their backs, thereby providing "beat feedback," to help them feel the beat.
Don’t forget to breathe! Breathing before we sing gives us the support both physically and mentally to make music. Remember that it takes more air to sing than it does to talk. Also, the breath gives you time to think about (or audiate) the sound that you are about to make. So let’s all take a purposeful breath as we prepare to sing.
Passive Music-Consuming vs. Active Music-making:
Many people in our culture have stopped actively making music themselves because now music can be played on a CD or we can hear it on the internet anytime we like. We push “play,” and we become “passive” consumers of music, instead of “active” music-makers. Imagine what we are teaching our children? At Music Together, we value and model active music-making. Congratulations for nurturing your child’s music development by choosing to be a music maker!
Becoming a Musical Family:
Have you ever described yourself to anyone as a “musical family?” If you have no formal music training you might not have ever thought of yourself that way, but I’m going to challenge you to re-think your identity in that area. This is the time, when your child is young, to start to shape your identity as a family. And if you love to sing and dance and you’ve commited yourself to making music with your child, you are indeed raising a musical family. This is a gift that you can give your children and a legacy that can ultimately last many lifetimes.