Remember cheat sheets or crib sheets from your school days? I had a science teacher that allowed us to have a 3 x 5 card with as many notes as we could fit on it during tests. That was when I learned the difference the point of a pen could make in space needed!
When I became a parent, I often wished for an instruction manual to go with my child. I’ve since learned that a child’s face does share some information, but it still doesn’t give me the magic words I sometimes need.
A few night’s ago I had the pleasure of sharing ideas with some area parents. I provided them a starter crib sheet of ways they could use music with their children. (Here’s the Music Cheat Sheet for Parents I shared.)
Like most cheat sheets, it doesn’t contain ALL the answers. In fact, it is just a launching point to get you started.
As requested by those present, here are some of the resources I spoke about during our short time together as well as a few we ran out of time for me to share.
- One great source: A Perfect Lullaby
- One I used that can serve as an example for popular songs: Linda Ronstadt’s Dedicated to the One I Love (Affiliate link)
- An example of world music:On a Starry Night (affiliate link)
- Remember, your voice even if it just singing along with the music is what is important.
Finding new music
- Trying to find things outside your comfort zone or in a style you don’t know is a challenge. Use tools similar to Musicovery which allow various ways to search and to listen.
Instruments to make at home on the cheap
- Old pots and pans
- Convert large tin cans into drums using packing and duct tape.
- Create wind chimes from found objects.
- Check “What to do with the kids” and “Creative Musical Fun” for more instrument making ideas.
- Creatively movement to music with household props (scarves, towels) can be fun.
- You can also reinforce early reading skills with movement cards. (Be sure and visit Susan Seale’s Musicalia for WONDERFUL resources.)
- Have listen activities at home. Have children identify sounds behind a screen. Those wonderful story books that contain animal sounds? Once your child knows the book, hold it behind a screen having them identify the animal.
- Sit and actively listen to music at home. As their vocabulary increases, ask what they like and what they don’t about the piece. Ask them what they picture as they listen. Discuss how it makes them feel.
- Be realistic. Most young children are not into sitting quietly and still for an hour. Start with child friendly venues and build-up. Think about street musicians, open air concerts, concerts at your library (a great place to stay for 2-3 numbers then slide out if the child gets resilience.)
A big thank you to the group for sharing their children’s and their own favorite songs to sing! Keep on singing! Allow LOTS of space for creativity. Enjoy and have fun!
Wanting to know about music opportunities around Hays? Sign-up for Music Spark’s Class Updates.