Musicianship is a life-long process. Most talented musicians have been working on their art since childhood, and musical talent often seems to run in families. One reason that this seems to be the case is that children in musical families are encouraged from an early age to participate in musical activities. A sense of musicianship is instilled early in their lives. Even if your family is not composed of professional musicians, here are some ways that you can still foster a love for music in your child's heart.
Sing with your child. When your child was a baby, it was probably common that you would sing lullabies to comfort them or help them to sleep. As they get older, singing with your child can help them to develop a sense of pitch. It can also show them that music is fun. Sing hymns, silly songs, tunes from the radio, or even educational songs. Making up songs or allowing your child to make them up is also a great way to retain information. If they need to memorize something, set it to music.
Take them to the music store. Music stores like Caldwell Connection are great hands-on places to experience musical instruments. You will often find musicians trying out equipment, cool instruments that you didn't know existed, and even instruments that you or your child can touch. Product sampling is the norm in most music stores, because it is important to find out how an instrument sounds and feels before you buy it. However, make sure that you and your children are respectful of others. Teach your child good manners like using soft touches, asking before they pick things up, and not putting things (such as recorders and harmonicas) in their mouth before purchasing them.
Get them involved in music lessons. Many traditional music teachers have age limits for children participating in lessons. Certain instrument lessons are often geared to middle school students simply because their hands need to be a certain size before truly being able to place them correctly on the instrument. However, there are other teaching methods, such as Suzuki, Orff, and Kodaly, that begin teaching students as early as preschool. Suzuki lessons are usually private, one-on-one instruction, whereas Orff and Kodaly are group lessons that are often taught in schools, daycare centers, and businesses like Gymboree.
You do not have to be a great musician in order to foster a love for music in your child. With the right encouragement, even the youngest child can develop a sense of true musicianship.