Monday, March 1, 2010

Getting your child into Classical Music - Top 10

TOP 10 things to do to get your child into classical music

1. Listen to classical music at home, not only as a background sound, but when you are playing with your toddlers. If they are accustomed to listening to piano music and orchestral works, they will start to enjoy them. There's lots of classical music which children will find easy and familiar like Mozart's variations on “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.
2. Use classical music to create atmosphere when the kids are dressing up:
* Brides can walk down the stairs to wedding marches.
* Fight scenes or laser fights will work better with Mars from Holst's "The Planets", or the John Williams Star Wars Theme on in the background.
* Soldiers can march to real march music.
3. Do some acting: play Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saƫns and act out the animals with the children. Each track relates to a different creature varying from hens, to elephants, birds, aquarium, swans and pianists. They can get into the music by pretending to be the animals.
4. Put on some Strauss waltzes and polkas and dance your little ones up and down the corridor to the lively dances. Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite (go for the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy) usually gets little girls dancing too!
5. Listen to music with a storyline. The most well known is Peter and the Wolf. All children are used to listening to a story, and this introduces them to the idea that music can tell them a story they can understand.
6. Make music! Most children like making a noise, so get a shaker or maracas from any baby shop. Tambourine, drum and claves (thick short sticks you hit together) are all easy for clumsy young fingers to play. So you can get a real instrument (which will make a much nicer sound) by buying your instruments from A more expensive instrument that is a good addition to your “orchestra” would be xylophone but these are more expensive.
7. If you like making things, then make your own shaker. It really will take you only a few minutes. For this you need 2 plastic cups and a handful of either dried lentils, or uncooked rice. Put the lentils, or rice into one cup, then sellotape firmly the open end of that cup to the open end of the other. Finished, one shaker.
8. Start a kitchen band with the family. It isn't as daunting as it sounds. You just use things that are in your kitchen as musical instruments. You can use metal saucepan lids as cymbals, and metal different sized measuring cups as a (short) glockenspiel. A metal cake tin stands in for a drum, with a wooden spoon to hit it with, your home-made shaker, and if possible, several upturned metal saucepans to hit with metal spoons as different sized drums. Then put on a piece of music – maybe one of the marches we mentioned earlier – and bang to the rhythm of that. If you feel really confident, you can do the trick of filling some glasses with different amounts of water and hit them lightly so each will make a higher or lower sound than the last. But the main thing is that you are making lots of noise, with a rhythm, and it's FUN.
9. Go to a mother and toddler group with singing. There are sure to be some in your area. It is generally accepted that very little children get a great deal from joining in with the actions which usually accompany the songs. Singing to your children is also considered very soothing, so don't worry if your voice is good enough. It will sound just fine to the little ones. Learning to sing is a very important skill for little children, and one they enjoy hugely. Extra tip: If you have to look after someone else's crying child, sing to them. They usually stop crying. Learn a long repertoire so you don't get too bored.
10. Take your children to a concert. Make sure it's aimed at toddlers so it isn't too formal or go on for too long. Meet friends and sit at cafe tables, chat and listen to well known classics and opera. The children are welcome to dance or sit, but not expected to stay still and silent so the pressure is definitely off the parents

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

#11. Show them that cool people like Jason Bateman who was in Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium are absolutely obsessed with classical music. Check it out: