Practicing with a Child

Here are some tips for practicing with your child, as it relates to the Delicious Music kindergarten curriculum. (For Beginning Orchestra practicing tips, go here.)

1. Listen to great music as often as you like. Listen in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the car. Silence is also important, so you don’t want audio going all day long. But when you have music playing, be sure it’s the best you can listen to. Be aware of what kind of music is playing on your children’s video games or TV shows.

YouTube is such an amazing source for watching and listening to recorded live performances. There are links on the individual song pages to videos we watch in our Delicious Music lessons. Be careful of what shows up on the sidebar of these videos, or use quietube, so that you can protect your child from other harmful videos.

2. Listen to some of your favorite songs over and over. Repetition of beautiful music is important, since we learn through repetition. Listening to a favorite piece of classical music, for example, can be super helpful in later learning to recognize patterns, including melodies and harmonies, phrases, motifs, etc. Learning to recognize patterns is a critical cognitive skill applicable to any area of life. (Think: “smarter, more capable child.”) One of the fun parts of knowing the lyrics to a great song from a musical, for example, is singing the lyrics with your child together in an unconnected moment. We do this frequently in our home. It’s like quoting lines from your favorite movies, or playing “Name that Tune.”

If you are looking for song ideas, check out the suggestions on the Suggested Listening List page!

3. Sing together. It’s really not so important how your voice sounds. My step-dad couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but the memory of him singing “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” is a happy memory, especially now that he has passed on. I love the saying, “A child who sings is a happy child.” I have see that statement verified in my full household. Turn a homework memorization moment into a song, and you will both remember it better. I remember a daughter trying to learn something like the Preamble to the Constitution. I started singing it in opera style (I am not an opera singer, but I can make them laugh trying to be), and we both remember that memorization effort today. Singing together will make family life so much more fun!

Go to the Free Music page to find the music to the songs your child is learning in Delicious Music.

4. Dance to music together. We learn to get into a circle and while holding hands, move around to music. We also listen to music and move in our sitting spots, and sometimes we get up and dance to a song we are “tasting.” Spontaneous dances together in the kitchen in the middle of dinner prep or homework at the counter really makes family life more fun. Or take a spin with your child in the family room. When I was little, we had an entry way in our home that was a great area for dancing. My dad would have me stand on his feet and then hold my hands in waltzing position. I laughed and loved every minute of it!

5. Ask your child to practice their songs on their bells while you are making dinner or folding laundry or doing some other task that you are doing during which they can make music. Or you can help them practice at the computer at each individual song page. Want to be inspired about playing resonator bells? Go to this blog post and watch a few minutes of the video of Evelyn Glennie at the very end, beginning at 27:15. (Her performance is about 5 minutes long)

6. For ideas about practicing other instruments with your child, you can read my blog posts about: