Children love to sing. Listen to a group of schoolchildren at the playground, and you will hear a mix of imagined songs, favorite nursery rhymes, and popular tunes intermingled with giggles and laughter. Making music seems hardwired to our DNA since childhood. Even as adults, we sing loudly in the shower or car when we think no one can hear. Music is an expression of life.
Singing gives children the freedom to express themselves in unique ways. A child can immerse herself in a made-up song about rainbows, or a young boy can remember his mother by singing a favorite nighttime lullaby. Children socialize through songs and dance, learning how to interact with others through silly nonsensical song play. While you might not understand why your child wants to sing “B-I-N-G-O” or “Baby Beluga” fifty times in a row, at least you know that your child’s singing will increase her communication and vocabulary.
Singing to your child helps you pass down an important part of your own childhood and history to a new generation. Singing not only benefits your child but helps relieve stress and allows you to express emotions deep within.
Don’t forget to check out Music & Life: Rockin’ Baby Lullabies for great information about singing lullabies to young children and babies.
10 ways to enliven your days with song
Try some of these practical ways to add singing to your life and your child’s everyday experiences:
It’s not easy being green – a bluesy lullabye kind of a tune.
1. Sing your favorite childhood songs
Share fun songs from your childhood. Whether you sing Kermit’s “It’s Not Easy Being Green” or The ABC Song, your child will learn about singing in tune while sharing some of your favorite tunes.
2. Clap your hands!
As you sing, add fun gestures like stomping, clapping, waving your arms, and dancing.
3. Learn new songs together
Explore singing with your child by learning a new tune. You can find exciting lyrics and music at BusSongs.com.
4. Practice singing intervals
Check out these familiar songs that feature different intervals:
With younger children you don’t need to teach them which intervals are being used – their ears will benefit just by getting familiar with the different sounds.
Remember the “Do-Re-Mi” song from the Sound of Music?
Teaching your child solfege will help train their ear to hear pitch. You can learn more about intervals here with our Pitch & Harmony series. Also take a look at Ricci Adam’s MusicTheory.net where there are fun games and easy exercises to test your ears.
6. Children’s Choir
Many community centers, schools, and religious institutions have children’s choirs. Your child will not only learn how to sing, but he or she will practice ear training and may even learn solfege.
7. Sing a song together at the piano
Even if you don’t have great piano skills, learning at a keyboard helps your child train their ears to hear how your voice matches the pitch of the piano. You can print free sheet music online at Making Music Fun.
8. Add drums
Teach your child about melodies and rhythm easily with a drum. You can make your own out of an oatmeal can or bring in real instruments. Remo has a great affordable line of kids drums.
9. Melody Match
Learn music through matching in the Melody Match app, available through iTunes.
10. Tappy Tunes
How have these great games and ideas worked for you and your child? Share these ideas with friends and teachers, and let us know what other great ways you have added singing to your life in the comments below!