Posts Tagged 'lullabies'

5 Ways to Make Music at Home

As a Music Together teacher, I am constantly inspired by both the adults and children in my classes. I am amazed to see how the children in my classes react to various activities and also how they grow musically over time! While these events are exciting to observe first-hand, I am just as interested in how music is being explored outside of the classroom.

It is important to model musically for your child at home just as much as you do in class. One thing that you as parents and caregivers can teach your child is the disposition, or the desire to make music. If you’re not sure where to start, try these five simple tips. You and your family will be veteran music-makers in no time!

1. Try making up rhythm or tonal patterns after listening to a song.

  • These “call and response” patterns can provide tons of fun for you and child. Go ahead and try it and see if your child repeats you.  If your child is willing, give him or her opportunities to make up rhythm or tonal patterns for you to repeat. If you get stuck, you can use the rhythm and tonal patterns that are already on your Music Together CD’s!

2. Make your own play-along instrument box.

  • Instruments don’t have to be fancy or expensive. You can make instruments out of just about anything! Tupperware containers, wooden and plastic spoons, plastic bottles and plastic bowls, and other household items double as fantastic instruments. Try sealing up some rice or beans in a container for an instant shaker! Take that old cookie tin and use it as a drum!

3. Dance, dance, dance. 

  • Put on your favorite songs, groove to the beat, and blow off some steam! If you need inspiration, try out some moves or use some songs from class. Use apps like YouTube, Spotify, or Pandora to build kid-friendly playlists or radio stations! Build these dance sessions into your nightly routine,  before bathtime or bedtime.

4. When in doubt, sing it out!

  • Getting your child dressed in the morning can be tough. So can convincing your child to clean up their toys. What about getting your little one ready for bed at night? Not always the easiest, right? Use music to help you with these daily challenges! Use a familiar tune and make up your own words to help with the task at hand. Sing your toys away (“Bye-bye toys!”) or belt out a tune about your child’s outfit (“Meg’s wearing a blue dress, all day long!”) while dressing them for the day. Music is a powerful tool that can help with these sometimes taxing transitions!

5. Lull your child to sleep.

  • After a long day, there is nothing better than winding down with a nightly lullaby. Even if you don’t love your voice, know that your child does. Many of us adults have vivid memories of our own parents singing us to sleep when we were young. Singing a lullaby is such a simple way to soothe your child, bond with your child, and make musical memories that your child is sure to carry with her for the rest of her life.

Meg Roy
Music Together Teacher

4 Simple Steps to Starting a Lullaby Ritual

As the word “may” initiates the lullaby “May All Children” for the first time in class this session, a four-year-old boy exclaims, “THIS IS OUR SONG!” as he dives to the carpet into his mom’s arms.

Lullabies resonate strongly with so many of us. I have very clear memories of my mother singing nightly lullabies to me growing up. There are a handful of songs that bring her voice into my head, and a smile into my heart, any and every time I hear them.

For the sweet vibrations of a lullaby ritual in your home, here are four steps to get started:

• Start simple. Sing one of the lullabies from the collection we’re using in class, a classic you remember from your own childhood, a holiday carol, an old folk song, or even your favorite chart topping pop ballad! It doesn’t really matter what song you sing-just sing!

• Don’t worry about the words. If you can’t recall the second half of the verse, just sing the parts you do know. In addition, you can try humming it, singing it on a single syllable like “la”, or even replacing all the lyrics with your child’s name.

• Sing from the heart. Young children are so connected to their parents’ voices; it doesn’t matter if you sound as beautiful as the voices on the professional recordings you have, or if it cracks a little on the high notes, or even if it’s a little off key. Hearing your voice softly singing is an expression of love, and can help your child relax, soothe stress, signal sleep time, and create memories and a lasting bond between you.

• Repetition is good. Repetition is good. Don’t feel that you need a massive repertoire in your back pocket, or that it takes all 32 verses of a song to keep it interesting. Children love and learn from repetition. Even a “la-la-la” version of one or two songs may be plenty for your nightly ritual; your child may even prefer this!

The gift of a song can resonate for a lifetime…

Vanessa Heilman
Certification Level I, Music Together Teacher

The Joy of Family Music

Heartsong Music teaches Music Together®, the internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program for children from birth through grade two and the adults who love them.

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