Move from Screen Time to Music Time

Is your child engaging in too much screen time?

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Did you know the US Department of Health and Human Services estimates children spend a whopping seven hours a day in front of some sort of electronic media? There are a number of troubling studies that link the inability to focus, lend attention, sense other people’s attitudes, connect with others, and irritability levels, to excessive screen time.

The brain development in the early years of childhood is known as the “critical period.” This early input will become the foundation for later brain functioning. In order for the brain to develop normally during the critical period, a child needs large doses of physical and emotional connection from their loving caregiver.

Why not give the electronics a break and do some fun musical activities together? Research shows that musical “play” will enhance intelligence and create confidence, so here we go-oh…

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Musical Game: Guess what song it is?

Play is serious learning for children and what child doesn’t love playing games? You can spend some quality time playing this simple game anywhere or anytime!

Directions: Have children sit close to you. Explain to them that they are going to play a guessing game. You will then hum or whistle songs that the children would know. Some examples might be: Row Row Row Your Boat, London Bridges, Bingo, Mary Had A Little Lamb, If You’re Happy And You Know It!

Hum some of the song and then stop to see if any of the children can guess what it is. If not hum a little bit more of the song. If necessary give a small hint about the song.

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Use the computer to increase talent

Here’s a great website with some music games that can really help you hone in some whole musicianship skills. Start with some easy ones, like trying to clap back a rhythm you’ve heard or simply identifying if two tones are the same or not. Then move on to harder games that help you identify chords and intervals by ear. A few minutes each day can help any child become more ‘talented’ by improving his/her ear.

Parent Involvement Is The Key

Most people assume that inherent musical talent is the number one factor determining which children study music and become proficient in their instruments. Surprisingly, they’re wrong! The crucial factor determining which students continue to high levels of achievement is actually parental involvement. More than just parental attention, a positive emotional atmosphere at home…

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Sharing musical success!

I love teaching music to young children because we target the “critical period” of the child’s brain development. It’s much easier for children to internalize the language of music during this time frame. Check out what my young students are doing.

4-6 year olds
My Red Balloon students are confidently teaching their eyes to track left to right with their “chord maps” (1st year sheet music). They are also playing chords on the autoharp, and accompanying our entire class. This is the first step to internalizing sight-reading skills.

5-7 year olds
I love seeing the second-year green turtles play some of the same songs from 1st year, but now it’s on the keyboards. Their understanding of rhythm and ear for hearing chord transitions was trained long before their fingers got to work.

6-8 year olds
The third-year purple magic students are working hard, too, learning to play complicated repertoire pieces with nice dynamics. They are also learning music theory concepts that I learned at the beginning college level.

Want to have some fun? Come to a FREE music class!

I am now accepting registrations for Let’s Play Music. Our first day of class will be on August 29th. Let’s Play Music class if for students ages 4-6, with parent. Email me to register your family.

If you haven’t attended Let’s Play Music yet, contact me to attend a free trial class.  Phone (801) 836-3409 or fill out the form below and I will contact you to answer all of your questions. – Rebecca