Today when we were having a bad moment I turned on the music and I started dancing. Yep that's right, me. I started singing, clapping my hands, and spinning my little girl. She was smiling in no time, my son was quickly joining in and wanted me to dance with him and soon they were lining up to take turns dancing with me while we all sang with the music. The point of this is that I realized that music has some magical powers to it and because it is so important to our life I wanted to share that with you.
Music in my family has always been important. My Father was the lead singer and guitarist in the band Wooden Music from before I was born until I was in college and my Mom played flute in the same group for many years. I got the chance to sing with my Dad in the band from time to time and played clarinet through high school, even getting the chance to go compete with the high school band in Hawaii in an international contest (which we won, yay).
These musical roots have made music such an important part of my life and I really hope to give my children a piece of that. I wish that I were as musically talented as my parents and could be playing music around my children all the time but instead I get to try and instill the love of music to them through listening, singing, and my favorite part, dancing to it.
Music is such a wonderful thing to have around children. It can help with learning vocabulary, emotions, motor skills (dancing or playing music), learning about similarities and differences, pitch and rhythm, and many reports have suggested that there is an academic boost in many different areas to children who are actively involved in music.
There are so many great things about music. Here are some ideas for adding music to your day. But first some fun photos of my son dancing :)
Okay adding music to your day...
-Wake up to music. In our family we play background music in the morning. Usually this is something that is quietly playing in the background while I make breakfast and is somewhat calm.
-Have a daily music time with musical instruments like tambourines, shakers, and recorders. Don't forget dancing!
-Sing songs frequently. Some we like are:
*We're on our Way to Grandpa's Farm, a song done by Raffi
(when we are going somewhere, we change the words to match
what we are doing)
*clean up song
*good night song
*1 Little 2 Little (with many variations)
*and we love to make up extremely goofy rhyming songs.
The point being we add songs in whenever we can to our day.
-We add quite music at lunch time/rest time. Usually quietly playing in the background something calming.
-Adding songs that are useful and help with learning task specific behaviors is a nice way to give your child a behavior que. Examples: This is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands, this is the way we wash our hands, after we use the restroom. Another one is: Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere, clean up clean up everybody do your share.
-When someone is having a bad moment you can use calm music or fun/funny music to try and help them calm down or change direction emotionally.
Music is so important to us that I would like to share it with you every Friday, or at least that is my plan. I am going to share with you a song or artist that our family enjoys listening and dancing to. I will probably share "adult" music as well as children's from time to time. So I hope that you will check back to see what new tunes our family likes AND please tell me your favorites too! I plan to file them all on a page titled Music To Dance To.
If I could share Wooden Music with you that is what I would do but since I can't (no mp3s of them) I will share my daughter's favorite song right now which is We Are the Dinosaurs by Laurie Berkner.
This is a fun song that we first heard at library story time. We like to march along to the tune and "eat" using the sign language sign for eat. Then we "sleep" in our nest using the sign for sleep. Of course don't forget the roar at the end. I have to warn you this one gets stuck in my head.
I would love to hear about how you use music in your day and what some of your favorite children's musicians are.