Hamish has recently started showing an interest and appreciation for music.
As a young girl I taught myself to read music and play an old organ my parents bought home. Sitting on the hard stool, gently playing the tune of Chariots of fire, was the highlight to many of my days.
So naturally with a grandmother who sang opera, years of choir and my new found love of playing the organ,my 12 year old self dreamed of becoming a musician.
The closest I came was buying a guitar at 17 and never learning to play.
Many years later, I watched to see if my children had developed a love or interest in music and knew that I would encourage that and find them a music scholarship similar to that offered by Benjy Grinberg
7 children, some guitars, an old organ, horrible recorder lessons and one very talented choir singer later, Hamish is the first to want to learn to play instruments.
His instrument of choice was an accordion. That in itself showed me his true interest as this is not the normal instrument a 4 year old would choose.
I naturally bought him an accordion and flute from Takealot to see his reaction. I wasn’t prepared for the passion that he displayed whilst pretending to play both.
Obviously this has led us to encourage his natural passion for music as well as the fact that he has shown an interest in learning about orchestras on his own and can tell you about pitch and high or low notes without being taught.
Benefits of kids learning music
According to Alex Doman, the author of ” Healing at the speed of sound” music boosts dopamine, lowers cortisol and makes you feel great.
There are many other benefits to introducing your child to music as well.
* encourages language development
* improves memory
* assists with co ordination
* teaching team work
* teaches problem solving
* and encourages good study habits
* teaches discipline
* improves a child’s IQ
* encourages creativity and the ability to express themselves
* supports muscle development and motor skills
* improves social skills
* encourages a healthy self esteem
* builds confidence
* teaches children to learn more about other cultures
* soothes the body
* improves mental health
When to introduce music to your child
When researching the best time to introduce your child to a musical instrument, all of the research pointed to as early as possible and show that children develop musical ability up until the ages of 11, as it appears that after this age the window for certain development has closed.
Knowing this parents are encouraged to introduce their children to musical instruments early.
There are many schools and classes like Music for minors for babies and toddlers to be introduced to music and older children from 4 or 5 could join a music program or specific tutor to teach them to both read music and play their instruments.
It starts at home
Just like reading, I believe developing a natural love of music starts at home.
And whilst you may not always be raising the next Mozart, it is certainly easier to help a child to discover their hidden talents by surrounding them with music.
For me it’s starts as babies by singing lullabies and nursery rhymes. Giving your little one rattles and bells.
In toddlers encouraging listening to music, singing and playing with toy musical instruments.
And as older preschoolers and scholars introducing new music genres to your child. Playing music. Purchasing musical instruments for them to try and encouraging lessons in the musical instrument that they find interesting.
After all it is said that music is the food of life.