How do parents and carers join in with music making?
My music sessions are initially for my pupils, but if one of the aims of music lessons is to develop communication, it’s really important for parents and carers to join in with music making. This could be in the session with the music teacher or at little moments on your own in between music sessions. Lots of people don’t have much confidence in their music making with their child or adult.
So, how do we all join in?
Firstly, we do not have to be a grade 8 violinist in order to join in with music sessions. Most people listen to the radio, sung nursery rhymes as a child and can move in time with a beat. There is music all around us, all we have to do is listen carefully and respond.
Play- with your child or adult, find lots of sound makers and do some simple sound searching; explore the different sounds that can be made. Discover music making equipment in your kitchen drawers, or purchase some cheap instruments you can explore together.
Sing- singing is the most organic way to explore music; if you can speak, you can sing. You do not need instrumental skills to sing, so just go for it. The best way to gain confidence in your singing is to sing as much as you can, let the muscles strengthen and allow yourself to get to know your voice and what it can do.
Beat- follow a beat, it’s a great way to start so everyone can join in with something simple and regular. Look for little moments of copying or recognising the pattern.
Simple Melodies- simple melodies are great for developing music making. We can accompany a simple melody with a beat or rhythm and simple melodies are usually accompanied by simple lyrics. Nursery rhymes are a great way to start, but try changing the words to make them appropriate to an activity. You can even use a repetitive chorus of a song you both know like “Call Me Maybe”; the lyrics are repetitive and easy to learn, or write your own lyrics to this melody too.
Try new things- if you start to feel adventurous in your music making, why not get yourself a guitar, a keyboard or even a recorder and try to pick out some simple chords or melodies. There are so many free online resources to show you the basics. As you learn, so can your child or adult, you may end up teaching each other.
Music making doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. Your child or adult will appreciate the time you’re spending with them more than anything. As you put this time aside to spend with one another, magical things will happen. Enjoy the exploration, enjoy the music making, enjoy the communication you have, and enjoy one another.