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Music: what can I do to make sure that my child appreciates it?

Even if you’re not particularly musical, it’s understandable that you want your child to grow up loving and appreciating music. There are several things you can do to ensure that your preschooler grows up with an affinity for music.

The first thing you can do is sing. Sing with your child, or along to the radio. Teach your child children’s songs like incy wincey spider, or buy a CD of children’s songs, and sing along. You don’t have to sing well (or even in tune) according to experts, and the good news is that your child probably won’t even notice that you can’t!

Find other ways to integrate music into your lives. If you play an instrument, then let your child sing along, or simply switch on the radio, or listen to CD’s together.
Make your choices eclectic. Young children aren’t particularly fussy about what music they like, and what they don’t. In fact, they’re as likely to listen to jazz, pop or classical as they are to African drumming or their own children’s music. It’s not until they’re around eight or nine that they’re likely to start choosing a favourite kind of music, so expose your preschooler to as many different kinds of music as you can!

Playing games can also get your child excited about music. Play ‘finish that tune’ and ask your child to finish the lines of the songs you sing. Or buy books with a musical theme, or that you can sing along to. Dancing is another favourite way to encourage a love of music in kids even if you can’t sing, you can enjoy music by dancing to it, so put on your favourite music and dance together.

Last, but not least, consider taking your child to a musical concert or event. But stick to concerts that are designed for children, or even musical shows like ballets.

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