Written by Riki Juster*
Nourishing The Whole Child
I think that one of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child is music. I’m not talking about passively listening to a CD or an iPod. I’m referring to actively participating in the music. I’m talking about singing or dancing or playing an instrument for your child. For it’s the parent who is the child’s role model and hero, not the famous artist. Until a few years ago, it never occurred to me that not all families create music in their homes in a given form. For my family singing at home or in the car was second nature! At one time, this was one of the popular activities among families and tribes, before the records, the CD players, the computers, the video games, etc.
This is why I am grateful for a program called Music Together. This is a weekly parent/caregiver participation class for children 0-5 years old. I was introduced to this program when I was a nanny and took the children I cared for to Music Together classes. It was the highlight of my week! After a few classes, I thought to myself: “I can do this!” I attended the weekend long teacher training course and now teach Music Together classes. This program not only exposes children to melodies and rhythm, it demonstrates and encourages parents to do this at home, in the car, etc. This class provides adults with a “safe” place to sing and dance and even get silly and I cannot stress enough on what a positive impact this has on the observing child. While it’s true that a child who is able to learn melodies and rhythm is more likely to excel in other aspects of their life, I’d like to think that one of the objectives in learning music is for the music itself, for it enriches our lives so.
More about Music Together – http://musictogether.com/
Find a class near you using this class locator.
Here is a musical listening game you can play with your children.
See a video:
* Riki Juster currently serves as Nourishing Our Children’s Director of Operations, managing the distribution of our educational materials, as well as our email and voicemail communication. She has also served our cause as a presenter, co-author of our study guide and has represented us at Weston A. Price Foundation’s annual conferences … and when we were set up with a Board of Directors, she served as our volunteer Secretary and Vice President.
9 Responses to Let’s Make Music Together
We love Music Together! Both my children loved it and I always looked forward to going too! We have always been a family that sang, danced and made up songs and I still think we gained so much from our MT classes! Especially the range of music and variety of songs. Our MT CDs are still one of the most requested CDs! My youngest still does MT in his preschool and we love that we still get to enjoy the CDs at home!
Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Michelle! I have asked Riki if I could visit a class because it sounds like so much fun!
How fortunate your children are! What could be better than sharing a family activity that’s so much fun for everyone and so beneficial! After my training, the first thing I did was call my parents to thank them!
We go to Kindermusik and it is the highlight of my son’s (and my) week! We translate so much of what we do there into our home – we play intstruments, march around the house, etc. There is nothing my son loves more than singing and dancing. And at 2.5 years old, he can maintain perfect rhythm when patting his legs or clapping his hands to a song. I consider this love for music to be a life-long gift that translates into success in math, science and other academic areas, along with just being fun to love music! :)
Sounds like a lot of fun in your home! There are quite a few studies to back up the notion that music education does have a positive impact on many academic areas: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=music+education+impact+on+children&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart
Wonderful! I’ve heard many parents claim that they’re “not musical” and can’t sing. Everyone can sing! Children don’t care if the parent sings flat or off key. Small children LOVE the sound of their parents’ voice singing to them.
One of our Facebook respondents https://www.facebook.com/nourishingourchildren/posts/146936025425798 posted this for us to see: http://youtu.be/BxQSEvHdyjQ – I loved it!
My daughter started Music Together when she was 18 months. She is now almost 6 and is taking violin lessons from the Music Together teacher. She learned so much from that class. We still listen to the cd’s in the car on road trips.
Thanks for sharing this! I love the way music has the capacity to elevate our spirits!