By following this workbook, we will provide you with “THE RIGHT WAY” to introduce music into your child’s life, backed by musicians, following research conducted by child psychologists in creativity, the studies of habit formation, and most importantly... by talking to the parents and the children that fell in love with music!
Listening to music is a beautiful thing in itself but learning to play the music yourself is life changing. Providing your child with the opportunity to make music carries so many benefits we just simply can’t list it all here. Done the right way, it promotes brain development, child development, school readiness, social-emotional skills, and the connection between the mind and body. Oh, and most importantly... HAPPINESS.
While this is all true, the sad truth is many instruments and developmental toys do not get the job done. You are simply left with another unused toy on top of the pile that is growing every day, or better yet, you can enjoy the sweet sounds of mooing cows throughout the house as your child bashes on the keys.
Step 1: Make it Visible
Child psychologists have found that children are motivated extrinsically rather than intrinsically. In other words, their environment plays a large part in sculping their interests, and influences the hobbies that they choose to engage in. That is why it is important for parents to introduce new things to them. Adopting a hobby in music will be almost impossible if music is not in front of them.
John Mayer did not find a passion for guitar until he was introduced to it while watching Marty McFly jamming out with a guitar in the movie “Back to the Future”. Paul McCartney’s father kept dozens of instruments around the house and was always playing music. Introduce the instrument into the house, or at least a toy version of it. Keep it somewhere that is always visible, somewhere they will walk by and notice every single day. This is the first necessary step, what comes after will determine whether your child will continue to stick with it, or abandon it
Listed below are a list of our favorite musical toy instruments to leave around the house for your kids to make it visible! They can be purchased here
Step 2: Make it Attractive
While making music visible is important, children will lose interest immediately if they do not find the activity attractive. This stage will require some empathy from you. One of the easiest ways to make your child’s new instrument attractive is to show how cool the activity is.
Simply starting by identifying your child’s favorite songs is a start
Ask them which instrument “seems cool”.
Share with your child YouTube videos of other awesome musicians playing these
instruments, preferably doing cover songs of some of their favorite stuff! For example: an electric guitar cover of the star-wars theme
Step 3: Make it Easy
This can be the more challenging task, as the way to do this can ironically lead to making the learning of an instrument difficult. It is widely known that the easier a task is to complete, the more likely we will do it as humans. Therefore, choosing to make your own song compared to playing a challenging one note for note is a great way to just have fun and accomplish a simple task.
Our favorite example of this comes from the instructional aid “The Improkeys”. Rather than learning all of the notes to a challenging song, children can improvise to one by simply following the colors to the device. The color-coded system is supported by music theory, covering the half and whole steps of musical scales. So, all the child has to do is just follow the colors as they learn through doing!
The Improkeys can be purchased here
Step 4: Make it Satisfying
This is the final Step, and potentially the most important. In order for this new instrument to become a habit in your child’s life, you must make the final act of practicing satisfying. The easiest way to do this is by giving them an immediate reward. You can do this by encouraging them and telling them how great they are doing. Take time to celebrate, enjoy one of their favorite snacks or go see a movie right after. It is not easy to continuously commit to playing an instrument at a young age, so providing that support and making it enjoyable is the most essential thing that you can do!