Firstly, let me start by saying that I don’t have any little ones myself..
But I have had the privilege of growing up in a musical family, and i’ve also had over 15 years of teaching families to love music, so I’ve gained a bit of wisdom on the topic.
1) Listen to music – then talk about it, and ask questions like:
“What’s your favourite part of that song?”
“What instrument do you think that is?”
“Is this a happy song, or a sad song?”
“What is your favourite song today? Why?
Basically anything that will start a conversation about music is a good start. It’s all about inciting curiosity in young ears and minds – they’ll do the rest!
2) Be a student
Children love to be the expert, and in the formative years the opportunity to ‘teach’ their parents is a rare thing. Spend some of their practice time asking them to show you how to play part of a piece of music, or asking them to tell you which note is which on the page.
Students who are put into a teaching role often cement their knowledge further, and it’s accompanied by a great sense of pride. Better still:
3) Learn yourself
We offer adult lessons for parents (we do offer a family discount), or there are plenty of resources online to start developing your own skills as a musician. Children will see you taking a musical journey with them and will be more attached the to their instrument.
I’m lucky enough to have played guitar with my mother on a number of occasions, and it is always very special to do so. Duets can be played from a very early stage in learning, and are a whole lot of fun too!
4) Encourage curiosity
Often students can get bogged down by the demands of preparing for an exam, or learning set pieces that their teacher has given them at the lesson. Try to break these confines by finding new pieces online, composing music with your child, working out theme songs from TV shows or computer games, or using simple and easy APPS to create music from scratch.
Again, it’s about developing a curiosity about music in general that will ensure a deep connection with it.
Taking part in our Rock School workshops – held every school holidays – along with any other ones (the Powerhouse often have great ones too) is a great way for kids to try new instruments and genres out.
Singing is the most accessible instrument known, and most people are able to do it (with varying degrees of success). To sing is to encourage others to sing, and develops amazing auditory awareness in young ones. It’s also amazing fun and healthy for you too!
6) Go to a concert or music performance
Music is everywhere and so are concerts! Why not book some tickets to see your favourite band, artist, or even teacher perform.