The benefits of music in a child’s life are well documented. Listening to, reading and playing a musical instrument improves memory capacity, improves self-confidence, improves coordination, and can even strengthen mathematical thinking. Incorporating music into the educational journey of children comes with a lifetime of benefits and it starts with learning to read it.
People who have no history reading music often equate it with learning a foreign language. Like a foreign language, the younger the brain, the better the comprehension. Unlike learning a foreign language, however, reading music is not as complex as it first appears. In any case, a lot of practice is needed for mastery.
So where do parents start when they want their kids to learn to read music? How can kids learn to read music and reap those benefits in other areas of life?
Take a look at a few suggestions when it comes to getting your kids geared up for a life of music literacy:
Sign Up For Music Lessons
Though learning about music theory at home is entirely possible, a music teacher is often your best resource when teaching your kids how to read music. One on one instruction will help your child learn at their own pace, and demonstrations with musical instruments will make lessons stick.
Use Online Resources.
There are thousands of websites dedicated to learning music, and how to read it. There are worksheets, articles, illustrations and other helpful resources that you can navigate online or print out. If you want to supplement music lessons or learn how to read music before you commit, you should look for sites that cater to beginners and are kid-friendly. If you don’t know how to read music yourself, plan to learn alongside your little ones. Some places to start include:
Watch Video Tutorials.
In addition to websites that will give you plenty of activities and print outs, you can watch musicians in action and learn how to read and play music from them through video tutorials. The beauty of these is that you can watch them over and over and review the portions that need extra attention. Your kids can work at their own pace, following along with the instructors as they go.
Find Music in Everyday Things.
This won’t teach your child to read music per se, but it will help them to recognize the different ways music makes up everyday life. Once they start to notice the music that is happening all around them, they can relate that back to the music they’ve learned to read and connect with it in new ways. This is also a great way to practice instrument recognition and which groups they are in. Paying attention to music, and not just listening to it passively, can enforce other lessons and bring it to real life realms.
Commit The Time.
Remember that learning music is not something that has a concrete “completion” date. There is so much to learn about music that it takes a lifetime to master it, if ever. Don’t put the pressure of a stringent timeline on yourself or your kids. Set aside a realistic amount of time each week to commit to learning together and then stick with it. Chances are that one thing will lead to another and you and your kids will learn much more than you can imagine.
How have you found success teaching your kids to read and love music?