I spent the morning running around tying ribbons onto certificates, stringing up pendant banners, and laying out a pipe-cleaner finger puppet craft for a big, special event! I’d had the fun idea to host an informal recital for my preschool piano class. A music recital is the one finished piece of art that trumps all the painted egg carton trains and the paper plate caterpillars, hanging on our refrigerators. At a music recital, kids give us an expression straight from themselves that makes our hearts burst with pride, like a balloon inserted over a helium tank. The video camera’s come down from the shelf and the moment is shared and captured, as a fun experience, together.
Even my Mom, who I called this morning, with a last minute recipe question, reminded me of one of her favorite home-videos of my brother, now 30, at his kinder recital. We share a laugh every time we watch that memento of him singing with his hands inside his pants pockets, jiggling up and down to the beat of the music with his jingle bells inside the pockets.
It’s a fun experience, watching our kids share their music. Nothing extracts our hopes and dreams to give our child a superb education and future, more than seeing how they’re growing, expressing themselves, and becoming smart, confident little citizens.
If there’s a time to begin exploring music with our kids, it’s now. In many ways they have an advantage learning over their elementary age counterparts. When I finished reading my kids their bedtime story last night, my son asked for the same book again. I’ve noticed in teaching my music classes, that preschoolers have the keys to uninhibited learning because they love repetition and aren’t afraid to explore! I’m teaching my kids the ABCs, their colors and numbers, and they already know how to speak the English language. Based on this, I know that they have the potential to learn the basics of piano.
My intention is not to raise the next Mozart or even a prodigy. I’d just love my kids to have their musical potential fulfilled. Throughout the course of my childhood, I played my violin to relax after a rough day. I sang around the campfire with friends to guitar music, and jammed, duet-style, on the piano with my older cousin. I want my kids to find the power of joy and expression through music.
Because music is universally loved and accepted in every culture, it’s a lot like a language. I’m able to share this language with my kids because I speak it, but I think of the many families without tools for sharing music with their kids. It’s pretty much impossible to share a language that you don’t speak. Yet, our kids are at the optimal age in their brain development to absorb a new language. It’s sad, but I’ve heard people say that their families just aren’t musical. I think every child has music within, just like they have the ability to speak a language. They just need to be immersed in the learning environment.
When I first began making a musical environment for my kids, (at home, before we even started our piano preschool classes) I got them musical instruments to explore. When I went into the music store to buy the instruments I was curious to ask the clerk what kinds of tools they had for preschoolers to learn music. His reply astonished me. He showed me a cutely arranged, box of instruments called “a-band-in-a-box”. The reason I was astonished was because this was a box of tools without any inspiration or instruction that would really make my kids musical! But that was all that was available to help me make my home a musical environment for my preschoolers.
I became really inspired to make a music-class-in-a-box for my kids and young students to be able to take the energy of our classes and our fun lessons into their home environment. To learn a language you have to be immersed. And, what are kids daily immersed in more than playtime? A “good old fashioned upbringing” includes lots of hands-on play, from home. I wanted my kids to be able to “play” music to play music. And now that I’ve finished creating our music-class-in-a-box, my kids and my students get to learn from an expert every day, on an adventure where the lessons are interwoven with dancing, singing and searching for hidden treasure. The kids are loving being able to explore concepts, while playing and learning from a mouse named Pipsqueak!
This first Adventure is a work of art and filled with love for learning. It’s based around hands-on instrument opportunities with little music lessons that apply to the piano.
Want to give your preschoolers a musical advantage, but not sure how? Here are 4 things you can add to your home this year to make instruments and ordinary songs come to life in a new way!
- Listen to a variety of styles of music, daily. Clap along to the beat, at home or on the go.
- Give your kids opportunities to play a variety of instruments
- Show kids how much you love music by playing an instrument yourself or watching someone play live music.
- Make learning music fun by introducing real concepts in a playful environment.
Because our kids education means everything, we’ve created lessons kids will love. We’d love to give every child the advantage of a musical upbringing.
Learn more about Piano Preschool’s high quality lessons here