There are many studies linking music education and academic performance but writer Joanne Lipman, in a recent New York Times article Is Music the Key to Success? says the benefits of music go beyond. Lipman interviews high achievers – from Woody Allen to Alan Greenspan – who say that music has helped them with the ability to work with others collaboratively, improved their “creativity, discipline and the capacity to reconcile conflicting ideas.” Who wouldn’t want those qualities in themselves or their child?
That’s why I’ve followed Dr. Robert Cutietta’s advice in Creating a Musical Home Environment to nurture my daughter’s love of music. Here’s how I’ve incorporated his tips:
- Listen to all types of music. We listen to classical, rock, reggae, and pop. We’ve recently added Bossa Nova to the mix. Evie not only loves the beat but has learned about Brazil and Portuguese. Pandora has made it easy for us to explore other genres.
- Turn everyday events into singing time. After a recent nature walk when we talked about the changing leaves, I asked her to sing about it. I was surprised to hear about what else she knew about fall and the different seasons. It’s another way to discover what she’s learned at school.
- Dance together. We have a blast during our impromptu dance parties and playing freeze dance. Sometimes we act out how we think different animals would dance.
- Use household items as instruments. The other night, after her bath, Evie started to pat a rhythm on the tub and sang her version of London Bridge.
- Play music together. My husband plays the guitar while Evie shakes maracas or a tambourine. I, unfortunately, never learned to play an instrument but I plan to learn to play the piano with Evie next year. For now, I sing along, pat a drum, or tap my feet.
Below are more music activities from around the web. What music activities does your child enjoy?