Babies are born musical! They are innately musical and parents instinctively know how to nurture and respond to their musical behaviours, preferences and communications! Music is part of everyone's life and a crucial and wonderful part of how babies and parents communicate and connect...
..... BUT we live in an environment .....
... where people are categorised as "musical" or "unmusical"
... where, unless we sing like a professional, we are laughed at or teased
... where singers and instrumentalists (who work SO hard and have done so for many many years) are told they are 'gifted' as if skills came with no effort
... where being 'musical' is sometimes defined by your ability to read music
Parents ... you can start a revolution and CHANGE this
... you can engage musically with your little ones and encourage their musical experiments (vocal sounds, taps and bangs, gestures and movements). Think of the joy you feel about their early works of art; their musical doodlings are just as important!
... listen to, enjoy and respond to music from all sorts of genres
... never laugh or tease your children when they make music (I am sure you wouldn't) and don't let their siblings or anyone else tease them either
... NEVER let them hear you say that you aren't musical yourself! We are all musical! You don't have to be a professional to be musical ... no one would dream of claiming they can't talk just because they aren't up to professional acting standards ... or can't walk because they didn't train as a professional dancer ... so why should being musical be any different? Babies benefit the most when the people that care for them engage musically with them ... it really doesn't matter how accomplished that person is ... that is not what it is about!
Your beliefs and values influence your children ... so show them and tell them that we are all musical! By doing this you will bring up children who don't subscribe to the notion of music as a gift possessed by the few ...
And guess what? your children are the parents and teachers of the future ... what you do now will impact many generations to come!
If you would like to know more about the power of music, or Katie's research into Early Childhood Music Education, please contact Katie!