"A child who sings is a happy child." -Enrique R. Falabella, family advocate
Children are hardwired to love singing, and every kid loves to be the star of his or her own show. As parents, we can encourage this outpouring of creativity in our children by filling their lives with good music. If you're looking to harness the power of music in your household, here are four "S's" to get you started.
Singing in the home should begin from the cradle. Lullabies are a centuries old tradition that you can incorporate into your modern household. Babies also love rhythmic games such as patty cake and nursery rhymes in songs such as "Old McDonald Had a Farm". Starting baby off early will help him gain a strong sense of rhythm and musicality, and it will lead to a lifelong love of music.
Whether you're doing chores, playing games, or preparing a meal, sing a song as you work. There are a million little chances each day to turn off the TV and sing a song with your family. It might feel silly at first, but when your kids see you valuing music in everyday life, it won't be long until they're humming as they do their homework and singing in the shower. As an added bonus, this continual emphasis on music will lift the spirits of everyone in the house.
Select Your Songs
Every parent has music attached to their cultural heritage. Singing religious or cultural songs within the family home gives parents a forum to teach their children about their family background. Also, singing songs attached to holidays will help family members create rich memories. If you're unsure about what songs you want to pass on to the next generation, sit down and think about some of your fondest memories of childhood, and make a list of the songs attached to those memories.
As siblings perform for each other, they will gain a respect for the unique talents of their family members. Performing music, either singing or on an instrument, also gives kids confidence in their abilities. Organize a family talent show, or stage a mini-recital for kids studying instruments. You can even record these informal concerts to send to distant relatives to get even more members of the family involved in your children's musical development.
The family that sings together will also smile together, laugh together, and love each other more fully. Music has an uncanny ability to bring people together, including siblings and grandparents. By incorporating music into your everyday life - every moment you possibly can - your family will develop a love of music and singing. Just remember the four S's: Start early, Sing often, Select your songs, and Stand together.