During the early years, learning musical rhythm is similar to learning language and speech. Language rapidly develops in late infancy and throughout toddlerhood. Music may promote this rapidly developing skill. Rhythm and beat also provide opportunities for movement (how fun to watch an infant or young child dance to the music), which supports children’s acquisition of gross (large) motor skills.
Many of us think that classical music equals Mozart, but the truth is classical music encompasses many styles of music spanning over 700 years! How do you introduce children to the world of classical music in a way that is going to be fun for both them and you?
There are plenty of ways to expose your child to music:
Movement to music: Music doesn’t just have to be for sitting and listening. It also provides a wonderful opportunity for expression! Try out different pieces (a couple of examples might be: Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers, and Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody) and get up and move. Explore tempo (the rate or speed of a musical piece) by moving fast or slow with your child as you respond to the music. Explore pitch (highness or lowness of sound) by having children move low (crawl) or high (jump, on tip-toes, walk upright) according to the sounds they hear in the music.
Playtime: Playtime is also a great time to introduce music by simply providing it in the background as children play. Whether involved in playing house, building with Legos, or just exploring, try a little music.
Integrate music into arts experiences: From drawing, to painting, to collage, music provides an extension of other arts activities.