Music Education / Play (1 Viewer)

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Linda

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This thread is for ideas about bringing music into our children's lives.
I like to sing and dance with the neighborhood kids. They seem to enjoy doing the Hokey Pokey with me in the front yard. After all - that's what it is all about.

What works for you?
What do your children enjoy?
Are there child oriented instruments that really work?
Plus all your answers to questions I did not ask.
 

Angela

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My son is actually currently enrolled in a music class. It goes to December but a lot of the idea they use are pretty neat.

Instruments wise, i think any kind of percussion is awesome. Little drums, shakers, tambourines, güiros, sandpaper blocks are always fun too or jingle bells. Things like that.

The class tends to use common rhymes and we'll known children's songs to illustrate different musical ideas and methods. Having them clap certain beats, or do jumps and foot steps to match it. (This is a toddler class, mind you. ) i think merely the introduction of it as a fun element in life is the ultimate goal. Maybe for older kids you can sing acapella and show the creativity of harmony. Any time there are drums though, it can be fun and internal.

This is slightly off topic, but still creative none the less. But when i was acting in a local theater, we made ourselves into a machine. Each person had to do a repetitive action that others could play off of. (It was good fun watching a guy pick push ups that he had to continue at a pace for the test of the skit. Haha)
 
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Linda

Linda

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Thanks Angela. Around here, I think the local theater group offers classes for different ages.

This is slightly off topic, but still creative none the less. But when i was acting in a local theater, we made ourselves into a machine. Each person had to do a repetitive action that others could play off of. (It was good fun watching a guy pick push ups that he had to continue at a pace for the test of the skit. Haha)
This is such an interesting and exciting idea. I would love to see this kind of machine in action. Note to self, consider the long-term ramifications of your choice.
 
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Linda

Linda

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Instruments wise, i think any kind of percussion is awesome.
You are right - the little ones do love to shake and bang instruments.

Does anyone have suggestions for drums that kids like AND are easy on adult ears. I know this sounds funny, but really there is only so much I can take. :bag
 

Angela

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Does anyone have suggestions for drums that kids like AND are easy on adult ears. I know this sounds funny, but really there is only so much I can take. :bag
Is not a drum but... definitely not a recorder. Hahaha what an age.
I don't really find a lot of percussion things all that invasive to my ears. Little bongos, tambourines aren't bad or the shakes. Really any of the suggestions. Just not cowbell. ;-)

In church when i was a kid they brought out a large box of all these instruments specifically for us to play during worship. It was awesome.
 
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Kristy

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I know that my niece Sophia loves when we sing to her. My mom used to sing these really funny songs that are very interactive and when we drive with her in the car we start singing and you can hear her in the back like she is singing along or she is laughing.

I also sing to her when it is bed time if I am watching her overnight for my sister. She really loves that.
 
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Linda

Linda

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Songs when my daughter was younger - lots of folk songs
Do you all sing any of these?

Swing Low Sweet Chariot
This Little Light of Mine
Buffalo Gals (just the chorus - all I could remember)
Do Your Ears Hang Low
Kukaberra
Kumbayah
Head Shoulders Knees and Toes
The Noble Duke of York
If You're Happy and You Know It
John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith (my husband taught his daughter John Jacob Jingleheimer Fart, which she proudly sang in kindergarten. She still recalls the teacher correcting her to this day.)
Skip to my Lou
The Wheels on the Bus
You are My Sunshine (only the first verse - one of my daughter's favorites)
The Eyes of Texas are Upon You (Univ of Texas song that is sung to I've been working on the railroad)
Deep in the Heart of Texas
The Yellow Rose of Texas
Sloop John B - Beach Boys (modified lyrics about getting drunk)
 
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Lila

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Lol, Linda, I sang all those songs as a kid, with the exception of the Texan songs at the end!:-))

Regarding kids and instruments, probably the most accessible are voice and percussion, as mentioned above. They can be found just about anyplace, anytime. You bring your voicebox with you, as well as your limbs. I recall, for example, emerging from a river very cold and deciding that I needed to keep moving. So, in an act of self-preservation, I started to bang sticks and stones lying about. Friends joined me and by the time I had warmed up we had a pretty good interactive percussion thing going :-D
I would include the sing-song voice of an adult reading to a child in the 'voice' category, particularly where humour, alliteration and rhyming are involved. Some memorable examples are Dr. Suess, especially Cat in the Hat, and Jamberry. It's a short walk from these to making up your own songs and/or lyrics, so one could see this as a progression. Some of my fondest memories with my children are walking along singing a song we made up to suit the moment (there was often that 'necessity is the mother of invention' element involved, too:D). It often ended in our howling with laughter and generally pleased with our own inventiveness.

As the kids get older they can pick up wind, string instruments and brass, though some simple ones to start might be the harmonica or kazoo or those things they had at the FIFA World Cup in Johanesberg (long tubular honking things) for winds; the little 'boingy' metal spiral things on the backs of doors (endless fun) or plucked bedsprings for strings and a saw sawing away at some parentally approved object (can make great sounds, though watch the fingers!). The goofier the better. o_OO.o:D:-))

Really, the main thing is enjoyment. If they pluck something and stop to listen to it, or hum to themselves while concentrating, they are making music. Best way to enhance their perception and enjoyment of sounds and music is to take their lead and play with it. Pluck it in counterpoint to them. Hum back at 'em faster or slower or higher or lower. By the time you are all laughing together, you know you've done something right.
Or, as a brilliant music teacher once taught us parents as she organized the band and spoke to us over her shoulder "The best way to get them practicing their instrument is to let them know, 'Hey, I like that. Can you play it again?'"<3:-D<3

The best lesson my kids taught me regarding music is that parents can only offer and that they'd be wise to let the kids decide on the instrument, set the pace and play with different ones to try them out (lots of places have programs to make this financially easier, if you ask for it). Our kids took piano lessons for years at a place that had the enjoyment thing pretty well figured out. Then we moved. They both decided to stop taking lessons. We questioned if they were sure (a lot) but did not push (with some difficulty). We had a piano, so we offered that they could play when they wanted and put the thing in the middle of the living room. When they played we told them we liked it, perhaps clapped and asked if they could play it again. Repeatedly. We played with them sometimes. They drifted back into playing, learned some songs by ear, added goofy lyrics whenever they could think of any, played whenever we had guests (built in entertainment!) and continued playing that and other instruments, loving every minute of it. The best part was when they sat down at an emotional moment to play. How awesome is that for self-therapy! Very different from my response when I was told I had to practice 1.5 hours a day since so much had already been invested in me. I minimized practice time and fought it wherever I could. I learned to play scales while reading a book... very bad scales! :bags:p:bag

Most creative points go to instruments one can make: shakers made of cardboard+beans, boingy or plucky string things, bottles with varying amounts of water in them, glass rims that one plays the by running a wetted finger over the rim (some great concertos of this available on-line)...:ROFL::)

Last point is that there are some really cool things to be found on-line showing folks who are doing amazing stuff with their instruments. When our kids decided to try some instruments for band, I found a classic piece in each instrument of their choice and another piece that showed creativity and inventiveness... like the Celtic lady who plays violin and dances in her music videos, "Pink Panther" on the clarinet, etc. It took all of a very well invested hour or so and they knew what instrument they were inspired to try first. So even if you don't have the bandwidth to offer them lots of instruments to try, they can get a taste of it from someone else's unique take on any given instrument. Or you could visit a music store with its endless possibilities of trying things out! <3

Hope this helps and is perhaps even related to what you had in mind, lol!
 
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Lila

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You are right - the little ones do love to shake and bang instruments.

Does anyone have suggestions for drums that kids like AND are easy on adult ears. I know this sounds funny, but really there is only so much I can take. :bag

A lot (probably all, sigh!) of our loud toddler toys lost their batteries spontaneously. They were never found again.
 
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Ben

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I was a drummer back in my hay day (when I had three different colours in my hair, ripped jeans and an attitude to match Kurt Cobain on a downer) and it's never left me so I've spent all of kids' childhoods bashing everything I come into contact with in an attempt to study it's resonance, I still do this.

As such, both my children play drums now and the younger a guitar too. Much as you can use anything for percussion, it's an incredibly versatile practice...I got hold of an electric drum kit. They are reasonably cheap, especially second hand and the real beauty if that you can plug head phones into them (*insert heavenly choir*) so all you can hear is wood tapping rubber rather than the charge of the Light Brigade with your hearing aid turned up!

Also, whenever I record my rap verses both kids perform the part of engineer for me which they love and they can be real slave drivers let me tell you!
 
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Linda

Linda

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I woke up this morning remembering when I used singing to help in a crises situation.

One time when my nephew was little, and I was visiting my Mom, I was startled awake by screams and wails for help. I jumped out of bed and was running down the stairs where I found my nephew with his leg caught between the balusters on the staircase.

My Mom could go from zero to panic in under 60 seconds and take anyone around with her. (My Dad and I were just the opposite.) My nephew was screaming, but I knew if I could calm him down, his muscles would relax, and his leg would come out. I knew the fastest way to calm him was to get him singing, and the first song that came to mind was the jingle for Oscar Meyer hot dogs. :fp

(Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Meyer wiener, that is what I'd truly like to be. For if I were an Oscar Meyer wiener, then everyone would be in love with me.)

I got him singing with me, while I had my hand on his leg. As soon as I felt the muscles relax, I pushed his leg back, and he was free.

So everyone needs a repertoire of happy songs for all occasions. Just so no one has to resort to the hot dog jingle, I'll leave you with "Deep in the heart of Texas" - my gift to you from one who lives in the heart of Texas.


PS - When I see men in boots, jeans, western shirt, and a Stetson, my heart goes pitter-pat. ;)
 
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Lila

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I think that is hands down the best use of a TV jingle that I can recall!!!:):):ROFL::-)):))o:)O.o:D:cool::D<3<3<3

Also, I will never look at a wiener the same way again... especially an Oscar Meyer wiener!
 
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Golmona

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My son loooves it when I sing to him and the funny thing is I never really sang until he came along. Now every act or situation is turned into a song :D My husband Kayed always jokes about how I turned the La Cucaracha into a simple nursery song for our son hahaha.

As for instruments I played the Koshi for my son when he was still in utero. Now, it is one of his favorite things in the world. It also helped me calm him down a few times when nothing else seemed to work. The Koshi comes in 4 different elemental sounds: Terra, Aqua, Aria & Ignis. We have Aqua and Terra. I have a fiery star sign and I experience a calming effect with the aqua sound. I love it. Such amazing vibrations <3

You can listen to a short demo of all four sounds here: http://koshi.fr/achat/produit_details.php?id=1

Another wonderful instrument that my son loves is the Sensula. Such a heavenly sound:
 
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