We hope you are having a wonderful time listening to your Maracas music at home and joining our music-making in class.  Here are just a few tips for supporting your child’s music development:

#1. Echo your child’s attempts at making music.  Just as it is important to echo your child’s first attempts at speaking, you can endorse your child’s early attempts at music-making by echoing or mirroring her behavior.  This validates her musical attempts and she will continue experimenting and eventually becoming a competent music maker in her own right. As you observe your child, you will also begin understand and appreciate how your child needs to learn and develop musically.
#2. Provide tactile beat feedback.  When your child is playing an instrument, you can pat his shoulder, back, or knee to give him a tactile experience of the beat.  If your child is in your arms, provide a kinesthetic experience by moving your own body so that he can feel the rhythm and movement through you.
#3. Provide aural and visual beat feedback. When you child is watching you, give them a good visual experience by picking up your knees and feet to the beat.  Sing and chant along with music to provide the aural experience as well.
#4. Immerse your child in music-making experiences.  Children learn music the same way they learn language, by immersion.  It is important that children get many musical immersion experiences in a playful environment since children can teach themselves through musical play.  Music class is one kind of music immersion experience, but you can create musical experiences at home by singing with your child frequently.  Sing the songs from music class and make up your own songs.  Sing about what you are doing as you get ready for bed, etc.
#5. Model your love of music for your child.  Did you know that your children learn something from you that they can’t learn from anyone else?  They learn from you the “disposition” to make music, or the desire to make music.  They can learn skills from any teacher throughout their lives, but they can only learn the love of making music from you!  So let down your guard, release your fears of inadequacy, and have fun making all kinds of music with your child!
REMINDER: Next week (April 17th – 22nd) is our Stuffed Animal Musical Picnic!  Bring your favorite stuffed animal (or any toy) for a special musical picnic.
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