Children love to listen to and move with music! They engage their whole body in dance, and experience not only joy and fun, but also the development of sensory motor activities. A child aged three to six is in an extraordinary sensitive period for motor activities, as well as singing. Hearing the music comes first for the child, and a gradual understanding of rhythm and the movement of the body follows. After this, the child enters a period of melody readiness!
Music activities are best introduced in the morning, but before you introduce your child to actual music, you must introduce him or her to different rhythms. You can do this by running and walking exercises (step to the beat!) so that your child can develop a sense of rhythm. You can also train your child’s ear to detect different “pulses” in music. Demonstrate this by having your child feel his or her heartbeat after they have been sitting versus when they have been engaging in physical activity, such as jumping up and down. Explain to them, “There is a fast pulse and a slow pulse.”
After your child is comfortable with rhythm, it’s time to introduce music! The first music listened to should be very simple and child-friendly. The Montessori bells are great for learning how to sing—you can demonstrate different notes and pitches and how they combine to create a melody.
Depending on the melody, a child may feel excited, sad, happy, or more! Music evokes emotion in all of us, and children are no different. Invite your child to listen to the melody and then express his or her feelings and emotions to the music through art, developing their emotional and social sensitivity. This activity makes use of logical sequencing, such as creating a beginning, middle, and end to a story, and stimulates imagination through plot and character creation.
Children may also be interested in identifying what instruments they hear, and this lesson goes perfectly with a three-period lesson about instruments and musical symbols. My favorite language lesson is to teacher the children names of instruments and composers on picture cards after the child has had the opportunity to listen to the music. You can also introduce singing to your child by singing lessons. This is an excellent way get information to your child, especially the continents!