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.
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.