You don’t have to be a musician to enjoy music with your child. Here are some simple activities:
- From infancy on, play music for your child. Play a variety of music—not just “children’s music,” but also jazz, country, folk, classical, and music from different cultures. You can check out CDs from your local library.
- Sing songs when you are with your child. (Don’t worry if you don’t think you have a pop-star voice—your child won’t mind.) Repeat songs that your child likes. Sing songs with movements, like “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” As your child’s language and motor skills develop, he or she can sing along and do the movements with you.
- Hold your baby or toddler in your arms and move to music. Gently bounce in time to the beat.
- Provide opportunities to play with musical instruments. They can be homemade, like a saucepan and a spoon “drum” or “maracas” made from empty plastic containers filled with beans or beads.
- Attend live performances. Share music you love and expand your own range of musical experiences. Look for informal performances appropriate for youngsters, such as music at local festivals, arts centers, museums, community centers, and parks.