How to Create a Music-Rich Environment

Musical experiences and activities contribute to a child’s overall development. While day care, music classes in school or lessons in a studio all work to provide kids with a fun and stimulating environment, there’s really no place like home to experience and discover the joys of music.
A music-rich home can support the development of creativity, expressiveness, confidence and communication in growing children. Since many of us are now spending more time at home, this is a good time to make music a more meaningful part of your family life. Here are some ideas to try:
Make every day music appreciation day.
Immersing your home in various forms of music promotes music appreciation, which can lead to a greater interest in music in children. By becoming familiar with different types of music, children would be able to expand their knowledge on musical styles, learn the language of music and be able to express themselves more freely especially when they take interest in music lessons for kids. 
Listening to music (and musical instruments) from other cultures also teaches children about diversity, and would be a great introduction to different ethnicities and traditions all over the world. 
 Encourage engagement.
Allow your child not only to hear different kinds of music but engage with it as well. You can set an example by moving to the music and telling your child this is how the music makes you feel. Then ask them: “How about you?” 
Encourage verbal (describing how they feel, making up a story), visual (painting with color, creating shapes with clay) and physical (dancing, bouncing, tapping to the beat) responses. There is no right or wrong answer or method when it comes to self-expression. This sparks creativity, develops movement and coordination, builds self-confidence. Plus, it’s really fun!
 Make music together.
Whistle, hum, sing, tap your foot, clap your hands! These are all excellent ways to make music at home even without standard instruments. Singing, in particular, helps children internalize music. Start with nursery rhymes and folk songs, which can help children learn basic rhythms and melodies. Once your child becomes more familiar with different songs, incorporate rhythm exercises such as tapping and clapping. 
 Use musical toys.
Children learn early on that there are objects that make sounds. You can encourage this musical exploration by providing toys that can expand your child’s musical experiences. Musical toys such as rattles and shakers, xylophones and tambourines keep kids engaged while promoting cognitive and motor skill development. You can even make your own musical toys from everyday objects you find around the house.
 Watch musical shows
Another way to provide your kids with musical experiences is by watching shows. There’s nothing like a live performance, of course. But given our current social distancing rules, you might be unable to take your family to a kid-friendly concert. Still, you can watch musical shows on television or online in the comfort of your own home.
Check out recitals, choir and orchestra concerts, musicals and music-centric variety shows, even films with great soundtracks and cinematography. Disney’s 1940 film Fantasia remains a favorite for families who want to introduce their kids to both classical music and masterful animation.


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