Music is a precious gift, and the skills needed for rhythm in music also help prepare children to read. Music lessons are great for preschoolers, but not always practical. The good news is that you do not need any special training or ability to nurture your preschooler's sense of rhythm. Here are four ways any parent can nurture her own preschoolers sense of rhythm.
Play recorded music to nurture your preschooler's sense of rhythm.
Listening to music is the key ingredient of the world renown Suzuki program. When listening to music, children's brains automatically begin storing rhythmic patterns. Make the most of your listening time by enjoying music that employs various rhythmic qualities. Eighteenth century classical, twentieth century jazz, and your favorite modern style will each enrich your preschooler's musical intelligence in its own way.
There is no special value in making your child sit still to listen. Make some play lists to use in the background as you play, draw, or do chores together.
Move to nurture your preschooler's sense of rhythm.
Adding gross motor movement while listening to music is usually a matter of giving permission to preschoolers. Children can find the beat on their own. Give them the basic idea of moving in time to the music and you will be amazed at what they can do!
Use all kinds of music. You might be surprised how your child responds to styles such as classical or hymns. This can be a great way to help your little one connect with your family's faith early in life.
Experiment with instruments to nurture your preschooler's sense of rhythm.
All children are born with the urge to experiment, and some seem to be driven to it. If you can provide real drums, maracas, or a keyboard, let your child take a turn making his own music. Contrary to what you may have heard, banging on a piano does it no harm, as long as your child uses their finger tips.
If you do not have access to instruments, or even if you do, make your own! Rhythm instruments can be made from all kinds of house hold objects. Let your preschooler use a spoon to bang on a pot, rub two rough sticks together, or put some beads in an empty bottle and glue on the lid. You can set up an invitation to play with objects of made from different materials, and in different shapes. The important thing is to make some time in your day for noisy play.
Read rhymes together to nurture your preschooler's sense of rhythm.
Reading rhymes not only increases your child's sense of rhythm in the musical sense, but it helps prepare them to recognize syllables as they reach the school years. Find any book that rhymes or has a little rhythmic repetition, and have fun reading with a lilt that emphasizes the syllables.
I hope that you will try one or two of these ideas and have fun connecting with your preschooler while nurturing her sense of rhythm.
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