Set the study guides aside and turn on the radio. A study of 7,500 college students has proven that music majors scored higher on their reading scores than any other major.
It’s never too early to start a child’s music education. In addition to boosting future reading scores, music can also help a child’s brain development and language acquisition.
Set a child up for a brighter future!
Whether you’re a parent or music teacher, here are the five methods you need to know when teaching music to preschoolers.
1. Show Your Enthusiasm
Before you have a child play music, get them excited by showing them your enthusiasm.
Young children pick up on the world and people around them. By showing them how much you love music, they’ll begin to show their own excitement, too.
One way you can show your excitement as a group is through a dance party!
At the start of each class, play a new song. Encourage the preschoolers to dance, bop, or clap along to the music. This will get them excited for class and teach them a little about rhythm as well!
2. Make It a Routine
According to this study, children’s brains also develop faster when they’re exposed to music.
Let the child play music and listen to music as part of their daily routine. By making it a habit, you can ensure music becomes a regular part of the child’s life.
For example, you can sing a lullaby along with your preschooler every night.
You can even buy books that play music. Associating a song with imagery and a story will help your preschooler mentally retain the song.
When you’re in the car together, explore a range of artists and genres. This will help your preschooler gain exposure to different types of music. You can also note their reaction to certain songs to see what they most enjoy!
You can also make music a part of your regular routine by buying the child a small instrument. This can help develop their interest for music until they’re old enough to learn with an instructor.
Try a tambourine or pair of maracas. Whatever instrument you or your preschooler chooses, just make sure there aren’t any parts that could become a choking hazard.
With this regular exposure, your child will develop music appreciation into the years ahead.
When teaching music to preschoolers, don’t forget to make it fun! Don’t make this regular routine seem like a chore. Instead, make it a fun way for everyone to bound and play!
3. Use Game Play
Make music fun for a child can make all the difference. Otherwise, they might not choose to learn an instrument when they grow older.
For preschoolers, it’s important to keep them excited and engaged. Musical programs for kids often use gameplay to keep the children actively engaged.
When teaching music to preschoolers, create a lesson plan with a range of games to choose from.
For example, you can have children play music on makeshift instruments. This includes a guitar made from tissue boxes and rubber bands. Show them a real guitar as well, so they can recognize the similarities.
Then, strum a few chords so they learn how a guitar sounds.
Helping children recognize what an instrument looks and feels like at a young age will help maintain this recognition as they grow older.
Make sure that each game is short. That way, you don’t overextend the preschooler’s patience.
Instead, offering a range of short games will help keep their interest.
Play a number of different nature sounds and see if the child can recognize them. This includes the pattering rhythm of rain or a singing songbird.
Change it up and go modern by using a social media app. By learning how to add music to Instagram stories, you can take a video with the child singing or playing along on their own instrument. This will make them feel like a star—and boost their excitement to keep playing.
4. Embrace Chaos
When it comes to teaching music to preschoolers, get ready for a little chaos.
Remember, little ones don’t like to sit still long. While you might develop a list of possible lesson plans, sometimes you just have to throw those ideas out the window.
If your group of preschoolers expresses interest in a specific game, give them the chance to show off their excitement. This will keep them engaged for the long term (and excited about class in the future).
For small groups, let everyone pick an instrument. Have them create a little band of their own and have the class play music together.
This can teach preschoolers that different instruments can come together to produce an entire song.
If the children are starting to get a little restless with a specific lesson plan, change it up. Have a few new activities up your sleeve, just in case.
That way, you can rekindle their interest by teaching them something new!
5. Pitch & Rhythm
Teaching music to preschoolers doesn’t always require instruments.
To teach music theory, have the children use their mouths instead. Show them how to sing high and low to demonstrate pitch. It’s also helpful to draw waves on a sheet of paper to illustrate the change in pitch.
Then, teach the preschoolers loud versus soft as well. This will help them learn how to differentiate between loud and high versus soft and low.
To teach rhythm, have the class clap their hands together with everyone following your lead.
Then, clap a little faster to demonstrate a change in rhythm. You can also play familiar songs to show them what rhythm sounds like in music.
These lessons early on will help your preschoolers learn music in the future.
Music to Our Ears: Your Guide to Teaching Music to Preschoolers
With this guide to teaching music to preschoolers, we hope you’ve gained some ideas for boosting a child’s brain function and preparing them for a brighter future!