3 Ways to Make Music Part of Your Daily Routine

Family Matters on 11.04.12
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Photo Credit: Stephanie Vuolo

Michelle Duggar is on to something by making music a big part of life in her household. Music is beneficial to children on all levels. Scientific research shows regular exposure to music through playing and singing supports all types of learning. Not only does music reduce everyone’s stress, but also creates a fun, creative environment in which a child can thrive.

I certainly don’t think of myself as a great singer or skilled at making music. However, music has become an integral part of my daughter’s life. I started making up songs and singing to her the week she was born.  It doesn’t take a lot of money or effort to make music a regular part of your child's life.

1. Just Sing. You don’t have to have a good singing voice to make music. In fact, your children will probably think you have a great voice when you sing to them.  Research has shown that babies six-months old show greater interest when mothers sang to them, rather than spoke to them. Whether you know a few songs or you just make them up, singing is fun and encourages creativity.  Hearing songs allows a child to imagine the story of what is happening, rather then seeing it depicted in a book.  Pretty soon your children will be making up their own lyrics or reciting the favorites you have been singing to them.

2. Press play.  It's easy to have music playing all day at home using the Internet, radio, or CD's. Our daughter is not just limited to kid’s music, we expose her to what we like to listen to as well.  She also likes to have dance parties, like they do in her preschool with a disco ball. It’s a great way to get moving together as a family. Another family I know plays theme music that goes along with the meal they are making for dinner that night. Play anything and everything to provide a broad range of music genres for your child to learn about.

3. Make it fun for everyone. We take a weekly music class, and I think I enjoy it as much as my daughter. The best part is when the teacher brings out a bunch of different instruments and we play along with the song. Even though we don’t sound like a harmonious orchestra, I personally feel more relaxed and recharged after playing. I am sure it has the same effect on my daughter. Your whole family can also make music together at home. Get out a bunch of instruments, like shakers and drums or improvise with pots and spoons, and play along with your favorite songs.

Music is something that can be enjoyed and played for an entire lifetime. Incorporate it into your child's daily schedule so she can start reaping the rewards. It's not only good for her brain development, but also a fun activity for the entire family. 

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