Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Top 7 Music Resources for Kids (Guest Post)

With the soaring popularity of music enrichment classes and private instrument lessons, nearly everyone knows that music resources can be a fantastic way to jumpstart your child’s learning and development. From Baby Mozart to mommy and me classes, there are numerous options for exposing kids to music. With these materials, your family can begin reaping the benefits of a beginning music education and hopefully instill a lifelong passion for song in your kids.

1. Classical Kids Live!
Classical Kids Live! is a non-profit music education concert with five shows which travel each season and are also available on recording. In five tales called Beethoven Lives Upstairs, Hallelujah Handel, Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage, Tchaikovsky Discovers America, Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery, Classical Kids Live! weaves biographies of famous composers with gripping historical fiction about kids who meet the composers and share wild adventures with them and their celebrated music.

2. Music Together
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Music Together is an early childhood music program which has gained international acclaim for pioneering the importance of music curriculum amongst youngsters. Music Together represents just that combining little ones from newborns to seven-year-olds with their parents or even grandparents and providing a safe environment in which to learn how to sing tunes, keep beats and gain confidence. Various classes are offered throughout local communities, so check out their website for a group near you.

3. Music and Reading
Reading Rockets offers a list of books and programs which combine music with reading for your child’s development. This organization offers various fiction and nonfiction ways of integrating literacy and music offers.

4. “Peter and the Wolf”
Serge Prokofiev famous composition combines the story of “Peter and the Wolf” with the symphony. This musical story utilizes the various instruments in an orchestra to embody the personalities of the animals in the narrative from the robin to the wolf. This is a fun way to expose kids to the many instruments which combine to make the big sound of orchestra music. It is available as a sound recording and in several film versions as well.

5. Percussion Toys
Another simple way to bring music home for your kids is through toy instruments such as maracas, cymbals and tambourines. Turn play time into learning time by teaching them how to clap in time with music and to shake, rattle, clang and roll their percussion instruments. Most children are naturally drawn to music and to making noise of their own. Providing them with basic instruments to play with can help to cultivate this fascination.

6. Check Out Your Local Library
It’s close and free. The library is a great place to find children’s books about classical composers and instruments. Many public libraries also serve as centers for community programs with morning and afternoon programs which bring in live children’s music and story times. Exposing your child to the library can have an extra benefit of inspiring a love of books and reading in addition to an early appreciation of music.

7. Share Your Music
While it is popular to play classical pieces for your children’s benefit, it can also be fun and educational to share music from your own generation. Playing music from various decades and genres sheds light on the changing nature of music composition from Frank Sinatra to rock and roll. This can also begin to develop a sense of history as well as music.

There are many ways to share the love of music with your children, so pull out those clapping hands and old records and get started today.

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Denise Taylor-Dennis said...

These are some great resources. I know this is one area that schools have had to cut. It is probably up to a majority of parents to find ways to introduce music to their kids.

Rose-Marie said...

these are great ideas - some I've never thought of! Kids love to make noise, so why not help them make music - even if very informal. I started playing piano when I was 5 and it was very good to learn how to read music and gives sense of accomplishment.

Robin Wilson said...

I think that music is so wonderful for kids and to have these resources is even better. I didn't even think about most of them. Our local library has musical instruments that can be played in a room during the summer for kids. Great program.

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