Vanessa's Blog

March is Sing With Your Child Month!

I sing with my kids. A lot. Too much, I've been told, as my two year old daughter often shrieks, "Stop it, mommy!" But this wasn't always the case. For the first six months of my son's life (he's now six), I was too tired and too overwhelmed to even think about singing (I often still am). Then I began teaching Music Together classes and performing for kids and things started to change. I remembered how important music was in my life and I wanted to pass that love of music on to my own children.  So songs started creeping into our daily life, accompanying our bath time, our car rides, our tooth brushing ("Brush, brush, brush our teeth, brush our teeth together!").  Now I have two kids who throw regular dance parties in our house, sing songs through their pretend microphones, and are exhibiting what Music Together calls "basic music competence:" singing in tune and moving with accurate rhythm.  And I am lucky to teach classes where I get to guide other families in making music together and observe the magical musical interactions that occur between children and their parents and caregivers.  Plus through my kids' shows, I get to put on performances that hopefully express my own joy and appreciation of music, and pass that enthusiasm on to my audiences.

Now listen carefully: One does not need "musical talent" to make music with your children.  Your voice is the single most beautiful voice in the world to your child, so soak up the attention and sing out!  Or grab some pots, pans and tupperware and have a drum jam.  Or turn on some of your favorite music and throw a dance party in your living room.  Or sit quietly on the couch and have a "listening party" where you try to pick out the different instruments: Are the violins buzzing like bees?  Do the trumpets sound like knights riding in on horses?

The impact of singing and making music with your child is immeasurable, and a child's musical growth is best achieved in a playful environment, so let loose and play play play!  Let's celebrate Sing With Your Child Month this March by showing our kids just how fun music-making can be.  And I'll leave you with one last anecdote: I've been singing a song lately with my daughter that goes, "Mary wore a red dress, red dress, red dress, Mary wore a red dress all day long."  After  many evening hours spent at the emergency room to take beads out of my daughter's nose, we were leaving the hospital and my daughter sang, "No more beads in nose... all day long." A minor musical accomplishment!  Happy Sing With Your Child Month!