You do not have to be a virtuoso to raise a music lover.Children naturally love to coo, sing, dance and enjoy rhythm.

Robert A. Cutietta, author of Raising Musical Kids, believes that all children have a certain degree of musical aptitude that can be enhanced. He suggests providing a music–rich atmosphere, especially in the first nine years.  Here’s how you can be instrumental in your child’s musical aptitude.

Just Sing!

It’s perfect way to bond and it’ll reduce your stress too. Sing to and with your child. Any place is great – when you bathe the kids, during travel time, bedtime. Children aren’t critical; they’ll love your voice and enjoy the activity. Never make statements like ‘I sound like a toad!”, “I can’t sing” or “I am not good in music”. Just sing and you are a sending positive message that it’s alright to let our guard down, and enjoy music.

Get your playlist

Toddlers and preschoolers go for nursery rhymes and songs with repetitive words. Start your routine-based songs at home: ‘bumble bee’ for getting ready to leave, ‘lullaby for bedtimes, ‘clean-up’ for putting toys back after play. Expose kids to different kinds of music like classical, jazz, classical, pop, or  Latin before they develop their own taste as they get older. Introduce them to music stations like “95 Classics” so they are know the
different styles.

Play An instrument

If you play an instrument, encourage your child to clap, sing along and dance to your tunes. Soon your child may start to mimick you. If you have not learnt any instrument, consider starting a class yourself and show your child how music can be a part of your life. It’s a great bonding time and may help to reduce work stress too. You can also try music instrument courses and test your child’s interest.

Go for Music Events

Check out musical events for kids. Young children may not be ready for a symphony hall concert. But there are kid-friendly performances, especially during the holidays. Outdoor concerts are more casual and are great for preschoolers who have shorter attention spans and would like some freedom of movement while listening to the rhythms. If you have older kids performing in school concerts, be sure to bring along your young ones to  inspire them.

Sign up for dance

Try dance classes. Only if your child seems ready and willing. Some kids develop a flair for music when they start formal training for a dance. Movement seems to motivate kids to appreciate the different styles of music. Find a school with experienced instructors who can keep the experience fun. More high-key training is more suitable for older kids. Explore co-curricular activities in school like classical dance, ballet and hip-hop.

Music Party

For your child’s next party, plan a music theme. Let your guests come with their favourite musical instrument to perform. Have a mini concert and have the kids entertain adults with songs and dance. Award prizes for the best singer, best dance, best instrumental performance. It’s great fun for kids and adults too!