After a few weeks of quarantine you might be running out of ideas to keep the children busy, entertained and moving. Or maybe you’ve had enough of cleaning up after all the arts and crafts.
These quarantine weeks are a good opportunity to invest in music lessons of some sort – either learning about music notes and rhythms or learning to play the piano if you have some kind of keyboard or piano in your home. Or your child may lean more toward singing or playing guitar or bass.
Music is always a great activity choice for children. Humans have music and rhythm in-built. Moving to music is natural and a great form of exercise whether in the form of organized dance movement or free-form. Start by streaming some upbeat songs, just listening to the music and moving to the beat is laying a foundation for learning music or an instrument later.
When children are little, they often sing quite naturally and without feeling self-conscious about it. Music increases well-being and happiness and encourages movement. Children love to pretend they’re pop-stars or taking part in “The X Factor”. If you’ve got a budding star, consider investing in a Karaoke microphone or go a bit edgier with this one.
Even though you’re stuck at home and the time feels right, you still have to consider whether or not your child is ready to learn the piano. Although there are exceptions, generally the best age to begin piano lessons is around the age of 6. But there are many concepts of music that can be absorbed at a very early age if they are presented in a fun way.
If you have very young children – aged 2 to 4 or 5, they may not have the concentration, ability to sit still, or finger strength to learn to play the piano yet. However, they can learn lots about music by joining in an online music lesson. Lessons that have them clapping, moving and singing are great foundation builders for learning an instrument later. Here are a few ideas.
Music with Lindsey is a varied and fun music lesson especially for children age 2 to 5. The focus is on singing, clapping and marching in time with well-known, simple songs. It’s very upbeat and engaging for children in this age range.
Prodigies Music Curriculum is a great resource for musical education with a section for every age from one to eight plus. It uses strong rhythms and catchy songs to learn elements of music theory in a fun way. Try out one of their videos
If you have never played the piano yourself and don’t know where to start, don’t panic! There is a wide range of wonderful apps that can teach your child (and you!) how to play.
One such app is Skoove which can take you from beginner to advanced step by step. Learning with this app makes it easy because the app uses AI to listen to the notes being played and gives immediate feedback. A good place to start is with Lesson 1 which shows you how to find notes using finger numbers. This app encourages listening skill as well as playing.
Another, similar app, is Yousician which also teaches ukulele, guitar, bass and even singing.
For really young children who aren’t yet ready to follow lessons, a fun project to do is to make instruments out of things you find around the house. Set up a band, play some music from Spotify and encourage the kids to let rip with the percussion section! Put some rice in a Tupperware, upturn saucepans and hit them with wooden spoons, basically anything goes. Or get a little bit more arts and crafts with these wonderful ideas from ArtsyCraftymom.com.
For older children who might already have had some music lessons – perhaps are currently studying an instrument, considering continuing their lessons online with their current teacher, or a new teacher who is already established online. Online lessons are very effective and in some cases, even better than in-person lessons because children feel more comfortable at their own piano or keyboard.
If you’re looking for a teacher, try some online websites such as Preply.com which has a list of teachers from all over the world (and speak several languages) who give online lessons. On here you can find teachers of many different instruments as well as music theory for very reasonable fees. You could also try Pianoteachersconnect.com.
So consider getting into music and movement with all the benefits it offers. Start your little ones on their journey to understanding musical concepts – and take a break from cleaning up all the artwork!