Mom Tip Monday: Music

by Heligirl on February 21, 2011

in Mom Tip Monday,Parenting Articles

I quite by accident came across a lesson about kids and music I’d love to share from experience.

I read early on that music significantly influences brain development in young children, going so far as improving memory. Like any loving mother, I wanted to offer my kids the best opportunities and music was definitely one.

From the time the kids came home from the hospital, I’ve had music playing in their rooms. It just seemed to be a more brain-stimulating option than simple white noise to me.

The music that plays on continuous loop on their little iPod nanos connected to speaker docks is a combination of new age, light jazz and piano. No vocals, just a huge range of different instruments.

During the day we almost always have some form of music playing, whether it’s kids’ music, jazz, instrumental or any of our pop, classic or rock stuff.

My mom bought Sweetness this little toy piano when she was only a few months old. Since she was able to crawl, she’s gone up to it to bang on it.

Then this past month Hubby brought down his old keyboard and set it up in the living room. He can play a lot of stuff by ear, one note at a time, and started showing Sweetness (who’s now 3 ½) how to play Mary Had a Little Lamb. She watched, but I didn’t think she was making any real connection other than learning that music comes from this new machine too.

Then she surprised me. She walked up to the keyboard one afternoon and played the song. Granted, the notes were all wrong, but she had the beat and scale right. She hit keys on the right beats and went up the scale or down it in the right direction. It just sounded like a really out of key version, but I definitely understood what she was playing.

Conversely, Mr. Man, who’s 21 months, has been a boogieing little dude since he could walk. He loves to bust his moves to Lady Gaga and will more often than not throw his hands in the air and do a little hip action when he hears music with a fast beat.

He’s also surprised me with his approach to the piano. Sweetness would bang on her toy piano, but Mr. Man, the boy of the family, carefully plays the keys one note at a time.

Kids are sponges, we all know this, and while I had every intention to expose mine to music formally, when I thought they’d be “old enough” to learn, I’ve discovered they’ve developed their own appreciation and exploration all on their own because they already had the exposure.

The point to my rambling story is it is never too early to expose kids to music. We could never afford formal baby or toddler “mom and me” music classes in our household, but I learned you really don’t need them.

Turning on music, dancing together, singing together, playing anything musical, from a wooden spoon and pot to a formal piano, will stimulate those little developing brains in ways you can’t even imagine.

Now get out and play!

I’d love to hear your stories. What do you do to bring music into your child’s life? What surprised you, either about yourself or your child, during this process?


Susan February 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm

My mother brought music into my life from when I was in the womb. She’s a concert violinist. The day I was born, an article in a local paper was titled, “Violinist Drops Bow for Bassinett.” When I was about 3, she took me to classes to be introduced to music in a more formal setting. Instrument lessons began at 6 and continued through high school. Music theory classes began at 8. Even though I haven’t played my violin in years, I know that I can pick it up any time I want. And music still permeates my soul to the core. As for my son, he loves to enjoy listening to, dancing to, and singing with music. I don’t know when (or if) he’ll be ready for any sort of formal training; but he has an ear for it, and a great sense of rhythm.
Susan recently posted: Sharing Some of My Favorite Blogs

Twitter: Heligirl
February 23, 2011 at 7:39 am

Wow, what a great story Susan. Thanks so much for sharing it. I can’t imagine a life without music in it. 🙂 I played flute for seven years. I can still pick it up and jam, but have forgotten how to read music for the most part. I’m sure it would come back pretty quick. If the kids begin to show interest in learning an instrument formally, I’ll learn alongside them. I’m sure that will bring it all back. 🙂

Previous post:

Next post: