What’s the first musical instrument that everyone plays? That’s right, your very own voice! Most people start using this instrument the moment they are born, as soon as they suck in a breath and let out their first cry. Nothing captures a young child’s attention like the sound of singing, and they’re always eager to join in. As they get older and start learning other instruments, such as the piano, you can continue to use singing to enhance their musical learning.
1. Sing along.
Encourage your child to sing along while listening to songs on the radio or on the television. Best of all, have your child sing along with you! Besides being fun, singing helps children develop their musical intelligence and their love of music.
2. Sing a lot.
Take some time to turn off the radio and TV and make your own music. Doing chores, riding in the car, walking to school, all are good times to sing. Set an example for your child by singing yourself. You don’t need a perfect sense of pitch or any vocal training, you just need to enjoy it.
3. Sing first, then play.
When a beginning piano student learns a new melody, the first step should be to hear it and then to sing it. Singing it is easier than playing it on the piano, and will help fix in the student’s mind what the playing ought to sound like so that they can detect and correct wrong notes on their own.
4. Sing and play.
Once a student is confident in playing a melody on the piano, have them try and sing along while they play. This requires some coordination, so be patient if your piano student can’t do it at first. Being able to accompany yourself while singing can be a lot of fun, and there’s no reason not to start learning to do this early!
The human voice is a fantastic instrument, and best of all, you can take it with you wherever you go! Make singing a part of your child’s musical experience no matter what other instruments they choose to learn.
More reasons to sing with your children:
Why singing is so important for your young child and you from Rice University
Psychological aspects of singing development in children from Institute of Education, London