“Twinkle, twinkle, little star…” We’re all familiar with that tune, right?
From our first lullabies such as this, to our first dabble with percussion (baby rattles), we have been exposed to the wonder of music from day one. Music is one of the earliest ways in which we learn to understand and make sense of the world around us. Think about it: One of our first inductions into our speaking society is when we learn to sing our ABC’s. It’s the rhythm and rhyme that ultimately helps us memorize and better comprehend language.
Keeping up with music exposure throughout early childhood is beneficial in a multitude of ways — from language development to increased IQ — the benefits are endless.
I’ve always been a strong advocate for music appreciation.
I started playing piano at the young age of six and ultimately became Beethoven’s #1 fan girl. My personal favorite is “Moonlight Sonata” — I believe I played that piece on the piano every day for 10 years. (Sorry, family!) But, my love for music flourished early on.
You could say, at times, I was a little scatterbrained as a child, but piano kept me grounded, focused and it was a great outlet for creative expression.
I am truly thankful that I was always surrounded by music and my parents fully encouraged it. In fact, they encouraged all of my sisters and me to try out some type of instrument. Let’s just say music lessons didn’t really end up sticking with all of my siblings, but there’s still, to this day, a unanimous agreement that it was beneficial to all of us.
So yes, I know, playing an instrument isn’t for everyone. But, music appreciation doesn’t have to mean it’s time to sign your child up for piano lessons, tomorrow. It can simply mean exposure.
In this issue, we talked to local director and music conductor, Piotr Gajewski about the importance of music appreciation and education for young children.
It struck a chord with me when he advised for parents to start playing all kinds of music to children at a young age to help them “naturally cultivate an interest in music.” This is something that’s easy to accomplish.
And because summer is officially just a few weeks away, it’s the perfect time to dive into that extra music exposure for you and your child. Go to a few family concerts, enjoy free live music in the park, check out a local children’s musical or even listen to the Moana music soundtrack together for the 100th time. (JK! Listen to “Let It Go” instead.)
Just know you really can’t go wrong with surrounding your child with music. You never know, you might soon discover you have the next Beethoven on your hands! Or, at least, you’ll find that your child becomes a bit more musically inclined. A win-win.
Washington FAMILY Magazine