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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sharing Music with your Child - tips from Heartland Music Together

*This is a sponsored post

 by Miriam Klein, director of Heartland Music Together / 502-491-3131 / info@heartlandmusictogether.com 

Making music with your child isn’t about performance – it’s about sharing quality time and modeling the pleasure of singing and musical play. We ALL “make a joyful noise” – your voice is that of the biggest superstar in your child’s life! So…

 1. Sing your child's favorite songs. There are some songs your child just has to hear again, and again... and again! Indulge his craving for repetition; when he is done learning from this particular song, he'll be ready to move on.

 2. Sing songs from your own childhood. If you loved the songs from Romper Room, Sesame Street, or Barney (depending on your generation!), there's a good chance your child will love them, too. This is your chance to re-visit your own early years, while enjoying your child's.

 3. Start early. Don't wait until your child can sing before exposing her to music. You started talking to your baby as soon as she was born; babies are born with musical aptitude, and all they need is exposure to start "singing" happily!

 4. Lousy voice? Sing anyway! Your child is not a music critic and won't be harmed if you sing out of tune. He WILL thrive on your singing because it comes from you, and because you love him. Plus, voices that sing improve the more they're used!

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 5. Children love to hear their own names in a song. It makes them feel special and loved. Any time you can, play with the words to a song to make it about your own child. Insert her name into "Mary Had A Little Lamb" and suddenly the song belongs to her.

 6. Sing back to your child. When you repeat his musical babbling, you encourage him to experiment more. This technique is called "mirroring", and it's what parents do naturally as children learn to talk. You can do the same thing with your child's musical explorations.

 7. Sing through moments of the day. You don't have to set aside a block of time to "be musical" with your child. You can take any song you like, and change the words to suit the moment. You can sing about setting the table, or taking a bath, riding in the car, changing a diaper, or...

 8. ... Snuggle time. What sweeter gift to give your child than a lullaby before she drifts off to dreamland! Your voice will help her peacefully cross the bridge from waking to sleep. If you're only going to sing once a day, this is the very best time to do it!

 9. Establish a weekly ritual by attending music classes! Not only will you share in the fun with your child, you'll learn more songs to sing at home; our professionally recorded CDs feature real musicians jamming on real instruments, so you can enjoy it too! With each semester, you'll also get songbooks with even more ideas for musical play. Our fall semester begins soon, so sign up now to join the fun!

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