As a music teacher I have been thinking of lots of different ways to influence and inspire adults to include music education in their children’s lives. I mean children naturally love music, but as those children grow into adults the participation rate declines, and adults are more self conscious about singing or the realisation of learning an instrument is actually hard work deters them from learning!
Eventually they don’t include music in their lives, which would be fine but these people have children and then these children don’t get the richness of a musical childhood/life. I know, I know I’m making it sound very dire but there is research that supports singing to children improves their ability to sing in tune and this has to be done in the first 7 years of their life! So there is only a small window of opportunity to increase children’s musicality to its full potential. Not to say you can’t be musical if you start later in life but your ability to sing in tune is hindered. OMG! now you see why I’m freaking out.
So as a music teacher what do I do to encourage parents and adults in general to include music in their children’s lives. Well the most obvious solution is to run dynamic engaging music classes that encourage parents to bring there children every week!
In this day and age lots of children attend Childcare centres, so I took the route of engaging the children through the centre and delivering an awesome music program, which has been an effective way to teach children. But if you know children, they keep the details of their day pretty secret from Mum and Dad, so it hasn’t ticked the criteria of influencing and inspiring parents for a music education.
So my next solution was to write a children’s story which parents could read to their children but sneakily include a music education within. Everyone loves books. I love books, so do my children. My little tale “Melody Goes To The Spring Fair” encourages the parent and child to clap and tap their way through the story, and to make it all about children, my 8 year old daughter illustrated the book too.
As I’m writing this, there is a news report on the ABC news which is talking about how music is helping troubled homeless children and giving these children direction and is a light at the end of the tunnel for them.
The power of music is in our hands to pass on to children. Why is music so important? well that is probably a question for another Blog post because it deserves all the attention it can receive.
If you would like a listen to my story you can hear it here: Melody Goes To The Spring Fair Book Reading
Lately I have been paying particular attention to the effect or affect my music lessons are having on the children that participate in my program.
Recently I attended a Childcare centre and in the group of children aged 18 months to 2 years there is a child who has special needs. He regularly attends the class and sits on the carers lap and we sing and pass shaking instruments to him, while the other children giggle or sing along.
But on this particular occasion I sang a beautiful Aboriginal Lullaby called “Inanay” ( if you haven’t heard it before you must! it is truly beautiful and epitomises what children’s music should be.) Anyway I started to sing and in the corner of my eye I noticed the little boy started to move his body. The Carer gasped a little, we locked eyes in unspoken wonder that the song had moved this child to react.
I had been attending the Child care Centre for 6 months and he would sit quietly and listen, but today was different it was as though he was attempting to clap along.
The Magic of Music.
Today I conducted a class for a group of babies and while I was waiting for the children to finish their afternoon snack I got to coo at the babies that were waiting on the mat. I rarely get that opportunity “to play”with the babies because I have to move on to other classes waiting for me, but today they were running behind schedule so I took advantage of the opportunity to play peak- a – boo. One baby boy started to cry, and instinctively I sung a Greek baby clapping song Palamakia. His reaction was immediate and began to giggle and smile.
The Magic of Music.
How many times have I played music on my iPod for the Kinder room, and the energy is electric, the children are energised and like a puppeteer pulling the strings, I change the energy in a heartbeat and sing a song with the children’s eyes watching me intently following my actions and words, they are transfixed for that moment in time. The music has taken the lead and directed there energy to another place.
The Magic of Music.
So many studies are done about the benefits of music, which there are many. But some elements can not be measured but only witnessed and felt, and that is called the Magic of Music.
I fortunately witness this on a daily basis and can not fathom a life without music. It is passed down from generation to generation. Music feeds the soul, fuels the celebrations and is uniquely human.
So in the spirit of passing down music, I pass these 2 children’s song to you. The Lyrics for both of the songs mentioned are below:
Inanay Gupa wana Inanay Gupa wana Ay Ay Ay Oola Oola Oola Oala Ay Yippee Yay, Yippee Yay Goo wanna Goo wanna Goo wanna Goo wanna Goo wah - Choo Palamakia (Lola's Version) Palamakia peksete Ke o babas too erhete Ke too ferni katiti Kooloorakia sto kharti