We have been doing Music Mondays since we brought the girls home from the hospital. Music is an important part of our everyday life. I often say that while the girls got their looks from their father, they got their passion for music from me.
While some instruments are available to them at all times, there are some that are best used with supervision. This is how Music Monday came to be. This is when those instruments make an appearance and we go over their names and how to properly use them.
When first introducing an instrument to them as newborns, I did so very gently. Slowly rotating the maracas and jingle bells so that they made the slightest noise, as to not startle the girls and so that their eyes may follow. Very differently than when bringing out the instruments now. Now, at a year-old, it seems to be the more noise, the better!
Rattles or maracas, of course, are one way to introduce musical instruments once your child has started to grasp. Prior to that development, the girls had bamboo chimes. We set up bamboo winds chimes with a string and wooden ring at the end, long enough for them to bat, kick, and in time, grab and manipulate. But before the wind chimes, the very first instrument they played on their own, were wrist jingle bells. We would put wrist jingle bells, similar to these, on their ankles to encourage movement of their legs and begin learning cause and effects. They also had their spinning drum, that my husband made, or as I called it, the baby treadmill, haha. While it may not be considered a tradition instrument, they were able to to make noise and they love it!
While we enjoy listening to music, and do so regularly, exploring instruments allows the girls to see how music is actually created–not by the record player or Alexa. And as the girls have grown, we’ve moved into studying musicians. “Studying” may be a rather strong word for what we currently do at the moment. We read about an artist, play their music, and play our instruments to the beat. Last week it was Harry Belafonte. He is a current favourite of V’s and he is so much more than the singer of the well known song “Day-O” in the movie Beetlejuice. As time goes on, the studying will become more in-depth (more about that in next Monday’s post).
I’d like to clarify that while I try to organize planned activities on certain days, the girls are free to join, or not. I follow their lead. They also dictate how long we spend on activities. Some Mondays they spend 15 minutes and others they spend almost two hours exploring instruments.
How does your family incorporate music?
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