Franscois Bezuidenhout, M.Mus (WITS) owner/director/originator of the Phoenix Benedict Music Academy offering  personalized music tuition from pre-school to adult.

Pre-Schoolers often overwhelm adults with their uninhibited energy, exuberant opinions and short attention span. A great way to foster aninterest in creativity with your Pre-Schooler is through music.

We all use music/musac in different ways to enhance our experience of a specific moment. Why give Barney or Hannah Montana the whole stage when we can also use music in different ways to enhance the bond we have with our little ones?

I have found that parents who join in on their little one’s private music lesson, seem to have a fun, bonding time together while learning about music. But you don’t have to know music theory to be able to apply some aspects with innovation and ease.

Here are some examples of how you could use music and even your own voice to foster your little one’s sonic awareness and creativity:

1) Pick songs with a happy mood, faster tempo and higher register-bound instruments e.g. violins, piano, flute, saxophone, lead guitar (electric), acoustic guitar (picked) and soprano voices. These higher based instruments are picked up easily by the little one and you can ask him/her to imitate the sound they’re hearing. Normally most of Mozart’s music has a happy mood associated with it, and it’s a great choice to introduce little ones to the classics (try Mozart’s String Divertimenti: ‘Eine Kleine Nacht Musik’).

2) Children respond to the mood of the music more so than to the content of the words. This means that the songs you listen to in the car should preferably be of a happy disposition (e.g. Tina Turner’s ‘Simply the best’, but not Celine Dion’s ‘All by myself’). It’s also an educational and fun activity to try identify all the instruments in a song by either trying to mimic the way they sound and to let the other family members figure out which instrument is being mimicked or to ask the little one whether the song is sad or happy, and why?

3) Sing songs that you and the little one can make up on the spot. A fun(and creative) way to get ready for bed is to use an existing lullaby and to change the words to some really silly words: e.g. ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star How I wonder what you are’ can become ‘Close your eyes my baby bright, drift away in Sleep’s delight’ or ‘Blip blip blong blong cling cling clong Djupy Djupy Chang Chang rippy rippy Dong’.

4) The same principle can be applied with Nursery Rhymes. Singing is a great activity for the little one at this age. It’s not so much the accuracy of the notes but the development of the inner ear that makes singing a valuable aspect in developing sonic awareness, melodic structure and rhythmic patterns.

Try something musical today with your little one. Remember, it has to be fun and not hard work!

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