I was introduced to a wide variety of music from a very early age and it continues to be a great part of my life. I can thank my parents and grandparents for introducing me to a variety of hymns, rock and roll, big band, country and western as well as classical music and musicals as well!
My son and daughter have both been around music since before they were born and continue to enjoy an even wider variety of music from a huge range of genres and cultures too.
But why is music such an important part of our lives?
I just love how it can bridge the gap between people, children in particular. Give a child an instrument and they will play it. Teach them a song and they will sing it! It may not have much of a tune or a rhythm but most children will start to create some sort of music even if it just seems to be a noise!
You can introduce some simple clapping or tapping out a beat and you will find most children will follow it, contribute to it and revel in it. With some simple conducting you can soon have them creating loud and quiet sounds, hard and soft sounds. And all this can be done without talking so music truly is a way of bring people together.
The easiest way to start introducing children to music is to let them listen to and create their own. Make drum sets out of pans and experiment using metal and wooden spoons for drumsticks. If you have some paint brushes then try using them too for a softer sound. Plastic bottles filled with dried peas or rice make perfect shakers. Or use what you have, tap a beat out with your feet, use your hands to clap out a rhythm, hum or whistle a tune or use your voice to create some notes!
The beauty of music is that it is a language all of it’s own. It can express emotions without words. It can create smiles of joy and tears of sorrow just through a change in tempo and melody. It can be not only heard but it can be physically felt too through vibrations in the air.
I know that the world would not be as rich and colourful as it is without music. Most cultures express themselves in some way through music. Through traditional songs and love songs. Music to bring in the harvest to. Songs to record our history with. Music we dance to, we laugh to and we cry to. Rejoicing new life and lamenting the old.
So why not turn on the radio or music player and listen to something that you would not usually listen too? Pick up an instrument or tap out a beat with just your fingertips. Take a deep breath, grab your child’s hand and sing out loudly and proudly with them. And just enjoy this wonderful musical gift that is an integral part of us all.