My choir teacher was an amazing music teacher who fostered a love of music in me. She told me, “Keep music in your home, and life will always be a song.” I would think about those words often when I was starting to build my home. I didn’t realize how important music would become in my home.
This is something I think we should all consider even if we are not musical. How have you been fostering a love for music in your home?
It comes naturally to my husband and I since we both have been playing instruments since we were young children. Ever since I was four years old, I have been enjoying playing the piano as a hobby, and my husband enjoys the saxophone. Perhaps, you have never played an instrument before. It’s never too late to start! Our prior violin teacher was teaching a women in her fifties how to play the violin along with the elementary school aged kids. It was really exciting to see how anyone can learn at any age!
I have had many parents ask me ways to inspire their child to play music or appreciate classical music. I think kids love music already so much that this is not a difficult thing to do. There are many ideas I have to do this that has helped with my son. I’ll list some of those ideas below. Enjoy!
Visit Your Local Orchestra
I won’t ever forget when we went to the orchestra since I was in my third trimester in a winter storm. My son kicked more than he had ever kicked that evening as the music played on and on. He was definitely dancing in there and enjoying the music! Don’t stop there though! Continue to see the orchestra as time goes on with their kid friendly programs! There are wonderful kid friendly programs that your local orchestra offers. If you haven’t done this yet, check it out! We have been visiting the orchestra now every other month.
Play Music Together
I play the piano, and my husband plays the saxophone and many other instruments. We try to play together at least once a week. We have allowed our son to join in whether it is with a fake instrument or a real one as we play throughout the years. He’s learned how to hear a song and play it now, and we encourage him to just play even if he’s not always reading notes. We were able to use the piano I grew up playing for a long time before I was able to purchase my own piano for our home. Whether you are using an old piano or a keyboard, just have some fun together as a family even if your child is just playing three or four notes over and over again.
Start Music Lessons Early
Start your child young with music and playing an instrument since they can pick it up easily at this stage. We started my son with playing around on the piano at age 3 and then violin lessons one week alternating with piano lessons at age 4, and now that he is 8 he still is enjoying both those instruments. He has weekly lessons in violin now that he is 8.
Play Instrumental Music
Play instrumental music when doing homework each day after school. My son will turn on the Pandora Study Classical Music Station automatically now especially when doing his math facts each day after school. I highly recommend The Piano Guys since they have always been my favorite instrumental music. We find that songs with words are too distracting during homework time, so we same those songs for other times of playing.
Try a Lego Piano Build
Have Quiet Time With Music/Audiobook
Is your child done napping? Do a quiet time in its place with classical/instrumental music combined with an audiobook (without a screen). We use an old CD player and old CDs. I purchase audiobooks and CDs so he can access them and put them in when he wants to listen to them. I did this because I would prefer that he not get sucked into an iPad for his quiet time. We don’t allow iPads unless we are traveling in the car and watching a movie on a long car trip.
My son loves listening to Adventures in Odyssey. We have many CDs on this. We have done that for years now, and he enjoys playing these during this time. If you haven’t done a quiet time before, start with maybe 25 minutes then work up to 40 minutes. As they get older, they will want more time as they get engaged in independent play time that is unstructured. Kids need that unstructured play time where they aren’t running around or going to various events. They need that at home time, so we always try to make this quiet time a priority. Not sure how to start yours out? I used to start mine out with a story and cuddle time for 15 minutes then I would have him go to his quiet time play. I try to do this now, but my son doesn’t always want a story first since he just wants to go play! Do what works for you. Ours is usually between 1:30-2:30 on non-school days or later if we are out running errands.
Play With Toy Instruments
Have a bin of toy musical instruments out for your kids in their playroom. Some of them may just be clappers that make noise! My son loved to play with those and dance. He also made his own homemade instruments when younger. We used these toy instruments (mostly from Target) when my son was younger. Do those activities to get them interested in playing music even if it is just rice making the noise! As they get older, have instruments out in your home. Their natural curiosity will gravitate them to these instruments when you make music a priority in your home.
Pair Music with Reading
I recently got Story Orchestra books for my son. They are so fun since they are musical stories that will inspire more of a love for music combined with text. While you or your child reads the story, you press the sound button on each page that plays music that goes with the mood of the story at that time. Over almost 20 years of teaching writing, I would design Rockin’ and Rolling With Literature activities as well with the text. I also made CDs of instrumental music that connected to each chapter of the novel we were reading so I could pair it that way during reader’s theater. I always would pair writing time with playing instrumental music in the background as well. Pairing music and text together in a meaningful way makes a huge difference in a child’s love for reading!
Enjoy Movie Soundtracks and Themed Parties
You know when it is so cold outside and wet that you are stuck inside? Throw a themed party each winter based around a movie that has an amazing soundtrack! I threw one for my son’s class last winter in our home around The Polar Express movie. I’m doing one this winter on The Nutcracker! Play up the theme with decor and listen to the soundtrack leading up to the party. The kids will love the theme, party, and the movie.
Try a Record Player
Get a record player and let your kids use it! We got one our music room, and we enjoy playing soundtracks on it. We have a Victrola record player, and my son enjoys using it from time to time.
Make a Music Room
Do you have a room that isn’t really being used? Make it a music room. We have our grand piano, keyboard, and instruments in that room. It was also an office at one time, but we decided to make it a more dedicated music studio space. Make it more inviting. I’m putting a Christmas tree with musical ornaments in our music room so it is more inviting for these winter months. If there is one thing you can do when it is cold and dreary outside, it is playing music. We tend to spend most time outside in the spring and summer so make this room special, and you will use it more during the winter!
Try Music Apps
My husband has been teaching himself how to play the guitar with the Simply Guitar app. We also used the Piano Maestro App to help our son feel more comfortable with the piano when he was four. They can be very helpful.
As you can see, there are so many wonderful ways to foster a love for music in your home. I hope you found some of these ideas useful as you build a home that values creativity and music!