Encouraging a liking for music in reception DS(15 Posts)
DS1 started reception this year. He has settled well, and enjoys school. He is probably a little behind the average in his class at everything, save for numeracy, but he will go along at his pace and I'm sure he will find his level.
He does love music though, and seems to have a good ear. He can sing in tune. For example, we can be listening to the radio in the car, and he'll identify his favourite singers, bands and songs very quickly, he can recogniseether the lead vocal is by a man or a woman and similarly the backing vocals, but what I'm most surprised by (for his age) is that he can pick out the different instruments he hears in pop songs. So he will somethimes say something along the lines of "This is a woman singing. A man will start singing after the piano" if its a song he knows.
Anyway! How can I encourage his liking for music? They listened to Peter and the Wolf at school before half term and he loved it. He also liked the Veleyn Gennie video that they played the week before.
They don't happen very often but if you're around London check out the South Bank family concerts. They are truly lovely and there's a lot of before and after close up instrument stuff. My DS2 loves them (he's deaf too, so an added dimension of tearful parent ness for me.)
We went to see the Simon Bolivar Orchestra last summer there and it was amazing.
Reception is the perfect age to get children to listen to your favourite music. In a few years they'll probably be driving you crazy with current chart music. Older music like Elvis and Abba tends to be less raunchy too.
The classical music that my kids enjoyed most was John Williams' music. He composed many movie soundtracks like Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones.
If he likes Peter and the Wolf than Carnival of the Animals may be a good choice too
DD is now just 5 and she started Violin lesson, her friend has singing lessons since she is 4.5.
Have a look around what is available in your area in way of music lessons, choir or instrumental.
Depending where you live try to go to concerts, musicals, ballets. Often these productions have a family friendly date where children don't mind.
Does your local council run any music activites. Our area has music groups on a saturday for school children. I think that children do best when they pick their musical instrument.
Where in the country are you? 5 is a good age to start violin or cello if you have a place near you with classes for small children. My eldest two started stringed instruments at 5 and thrived. Or you may have a local choir or singing group where your Ds can start to learn rhythms and have fun making music.
Thanks for the John Williams and Carnival of the Animals suggestions - I hadn't heard of either.
DS really enjoys pop music more than typical childrens music! Though he does sing on top note "Daddy I've fallen for a monster, He's scaring me to death, He's big and he's bad, I love him like mad, Momma he's the best I've ever had". I am all when he comes out with the last bit.
I hadn't thought that he was old enough for lessons. I will give it some thought. There is a choir at school, but its only for juniors and he wants to be a junior so that he can be in the choir. I will see if there are any childrens choirs locally. I think he would love it.
Ha ha. DS1 is a magnet for any inappropriate pop lyric too it seems. 'Girls Girls Girls I can't say no' was a particular favourite for a while. It was so yuck I told him not to sing it I'm ashamed to say. Probably handled it all wrong but I just couldn't stand it!
We listen to Magic a lot - most of that's fairly inoffensive! And DS1 told me he likes Fleetwood Mac after we had it on in the kitchen the other day!
" I think that children do best when they pick their musical instrument. "
yes - picking up on that thought, I think the only thing you can do wrong at this stage is pressure the child.
An ideal thing for you to do is take up something like the guitar yourself, teach yourself three chords -from the internet or "play in a day" and let him see you learn it. Fool around together musically. If you have a guitar in the house I think I could get you playing Rudolph pretty quickly even through verbal descriptions.
When we lived in Oxfordshire there was a fabulous series of 'meet the instrument' concerts in one of the Oxford colleges - for very tiny children up.
Is there anything similar near you?
Googled 'Cusion Concerts': also in Didcot, looks like there is a plan to start something similar up in York.
'Children's concerts' also seemed to give a listing for virtually all the major orchestras.
(I know that this is 'classical' music - but in my experience, 'pop' music is universally available to children, he will come across it all the time and in all sorts of guises. What he might not experience, unless you are a little bit active about it, is the 'classical' end of the spectrum.)
You could also - if your own religious views allow it - take him to see a cathedral choir sing Evensong. The standard of music achieved by such young boys can be fairly magical, and I know that is what started various members of my extended family on musical careers.
Play music of many genres around your child, particularly more classical music. Just because hes reception age doesn't stop you bopping to Dave Brubeck or djano reinhardt (sp?), feeling the fireworks of the 1812 overture or settling calmly to sleep o my favourite Bach cello suites.
Yup go to kids concerts but think about short ordinary ones too - an yor lunchtime or " commuters " concert might be good - just stay by the door and accept you might just enjoy 10 mins or so sometimes.
Totally agree with teacherwith2 go to a real cathedral evensong - sit in the main church to the choir ( often the main service congregation will be there for evensong) then if he gets the fidgets a wander round will be fine.
My 6 yr old DS has being going to a group music lesson since he started school. They start with "karate recorder" (because they work towards belts) percussion and singing, in Y1 he's added keyboard and next year he'll add ukulele. The couple who run the classes are a bit bonkers so it's lots of fun, but they are learning a lot. The teachers seem to play pretty much every instrument so they get introduced to a lot of different sounds. I suspect he won't progress massively with any of the instruments but he is enjoying it, being in a group keeps the cost down, and he is so proud of himself playing in the Christmas concert. In KS2 they offer individual tuition, but he will also then be able to join the school choir and there are some music lessons offered through school in KS2. I think 5/6 is very young to be concentrating on one instrument and expecting them to practise daily, unless you have a child who is enormously motivated to play a particular thing, or you intend to raise the next violin prodigy. My friend's DD is insistent she is going to play a concert harp (once friend has remortgaged) so I'm happy DS is satisfied with a £10 recorder for now!
Hi - ex-TA here (male) -
I did music with children for over ten years - recorder, keyboard, percussion.
Recorder is the cheapest and easiest instrument to start on, and if a child 'takes' to it, then it can automatically lead on to flute, clarinet and other woodwind. As a parent, you could easily teach yourself recorder from a tutor book, then impart the knowledge to DS: (I did, as I was a drummer!)
Buy a proper 'make' of recorder: Yamaha, Aulos, Hohner, not one from a Pound Shop.
You can get inexpensive children's percussion instruments - bells, tambourine, wood block, etc, and encourage him to 'keep time' with recorded music, keeping to the beat rather than filling in all the 'twiddly' bits!
If you can afford to spend rather more, an electronic keyboard takes children to the next level: they will learn pitch, melodies, and assorted rhythms. But get one with 61 full size keys if you can, as that will prepare him for playing 'proper' music.
I'll come back sometime with more info and links.
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