10 Ways Share Music with Your Child If You're a Non-Singer

Consider yourself a non-singer? Not to worry. You don't have to be a singer to share music with your child. Try these ideas.

1) Humm. Humming does not have to have any kind of a melody. With an infant this is especially effective if you and your baby are skin to skin and heart to heart on your chest. With a toddler just snuggle up and start!

2) The sound of the heart is an “Ahhhh.” Hold your infant on your chest with your own head to the right so that you are heart to heart. Focus on the love you have for your child and say/sigh “Ahhhhh.” This also works great with toddlers who are having a hard time. Pick them up and tell them you are going to “talk with your hearts.” Lean your head to the right so that your hearts are aligned and then both of you say “Ahhhhh” a few times. Also works great with spouses (especially if they are a non-singer also)!

3) Chant words in a rhythm while moving to the rhythm. You can make up silly chants for different times of the day. For example: We are going in the car, we won’t go very far, Hey! As your child gets older you can create chant games where you chant one part and they answer with another. For example: You: Heedy Hiidy Ho It is off to work I go! Child: See you later, See you later, you’ll be home I know!

4) Be a band! Find sticks in the woods, pans under the sink, toilet paper rolls filled with popcorn kernels and stopped up at the ends…use them all. You can also clap, dance or use the instruments that you make to accompany recorded music that you enjoy.

5) Identify a special song that the two of you can “dance” or rock to everyday at a certain time. Great times for this include when you get up and begin your day, when you get home from work or just before bed as a cue for sleep.

6 ) Take a music class with your infant/toddler. We think Music Together is a wonderful program. You can learn more about them here.

7) Don’t forget the natural music around you! Listen to birdsong, the sound of rivers, the wind in the trees. Point out all the sounds of nature. In your home you can listen to the symphony of sound made by the refrigerator, the washing machine, cars passing by (can you tell if a car or a truck just passed by if you just listen with your eyes closed?). Identify and talk about the rhythms that surround you.

8) Take your baby to see live music performed. Be very careful about noise levels. Street performers in the open air are a better choice than enclosed areas that could bombard new ears. If your infant or child seems uncomfortable or distraught leave the area immediately.

9) As your child grows collect a variety of kinds of music (Classical, opera, folk, ragtime, jazz) that you can learn about together. A simple search on “ragtime” or “classical music” will yield interesting facts about the style and content of what you are listening to and will help your child to become an informed listener.

10) Share your interest and love of music. Talk about artists that you admire and listen to their work. Encourage your child to listen and participate and know that you are creating “sound” memories for the future.

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