The pressure children can be placed under to learn an instrument is powerful. How they learn is varied.
There is no gene for music
There is no single gene for music. No-one simply inherits it from a musical relative. It takes hard work. So far scientists suggest there might be a combination of genes that suggest a propensity for innate musical talent but no more.
How often do we hear ‘oh I wasn’t born with a talent for maths, sports, writing, music, rhythm etc etc. Just as we label children due to their gender we can do the same due to their relative or their class when it comes to their talents.
I was told by a teacher that a child told her she was born clumsy! Thankfully her teacher talked about how damaging labels can be and suggested that she was close to puberty and her so called ‘clumsiness’ was more likely to be associated with developmental changes.
Expose your child to music as early as possible
Evidence suggests that music potential is most likely related to early environmental factors. Hearing music even before we are born matters.
Soak up music
With or without a musical home what all children can learn from is listening to music. Whether played by a nearby adult or flowing from a machine, music has a wonderful way of calming, exciting and inspiring children. Listening to melodies, marking out rhythm with a dance, vocalising and fostering a passion for music matters most.
No lessons or classes
Connor went to a class from the age of 18 months. The others did not as the ££ were growing far too high. He is no more musical than the others. If there is zero music at home then maybe but otherwise no need to waste precious ££.
I had the benefit of a singing teacher who gave me the following advice for my grandsons
Encourage their musicality by showing yours– a challenge.
- Sing to them – and not just nursery rhymes.
- Hum whenever the words fail
- Create a playlist of music for them to enjoy at mealtimes.
Creating Nan’s Playlist
On this last suggestion I had the greatest fun deciding on what would be on Nan’s playlist. As always it had to be something that they would learn from or be inspired by. I chose a mix of Bollywood, 40’s band music, 60’s pop music and classical tracks. I threaded it through with counting e.g. ‘ Five four three two one’ was the opener to one song; dancing, I put my limited belly-dancing skills to the test and facially I contorted to exaggerate emotions. The younger two love the range and Elliot is now singing on a daily basis.
Getting the time right for an instrument
Dustin would be the next to learn an instrument but he is not yet concentrating very long. The advice I was given was to wait until he can focus on something interactive for 30mins (not passive TV!). This means waiting a little longer. His age is not the issue.
- Make music a part of playtime, preparing for bedtime, out walking time
- Don’t be embarrassed about your own voice
- Being heard singing to your grandchildren brings a smile to passers by..whether in or out of tune!
- A song can change the mood of the moment…. Bringing calm in its wake.