Introducing Your Child to the Arts

Music

Don't limit your child to "kiddie music." Instead, expose her to a large variety of music including classical, country, rock and roll, gospel, bluegrass, and folk music.

Get moving. Encourage your child to move to the rhythm (don't worry if his rhythm is "off") and have fun with it. Join in and show your child how much you enjoy music by dancing or singing along.

Let children make their own music. Toddlers and preschoolers love to explore the sounds that ordinary household items make. Let your child try out sound-producing items like pots and spoons. As kids get older, they'll enjoy blowing whistles and ringing bells.

Take in a concert. Hearing live music is one of life's great pleasures. Check your local newspaper for news of concerts at nearby theaters and auditoriums. Many communities also offer free outdoor family concerts during the summer months. During the school year, a high school concert can be a good choice.

Give them hands-on experience. Hearing the beat of drums on a CD is one thing. Actually taking a turn playing the drums is another. Look for opportunities for young children to see and feel musical instruments.

Sign up for lessons. Consider finding your school-age child an instructor to teach him to play an instrument he is interested in.

Join the chorus. Most schools offer kids the chance to sing in a choir or chorus by around fourth grade. If your child is interested, encourage her to join.

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