Programs Prove it is Never Too Early to Learn Music
In recent years, education has taken a turn toward the young. Although music is a requirement in many high school curriculums, the National Association for Music Education sheds light on possibilities that take place inside of a classroom, and out.
Introducing Music to Toddlers
In many day care centers and preschools, music is taught for at least part of each day. However, staff members at Brigham Young University have a much more extensive plan for their young students.
Currently, one teacher and a teaching assistant host classes geared towards toddlers who range from 2 to 4 years of age. Every Saturday morning, they come together to enter a creative space where freedom of expression is cherished. Instead of centering on a rigid form of instruction, the teachers sometimes only observe, after letting children know that they are free to interact with their environment at will.
Offering Opportunities to Little Ones through Grown-Up Instruments
If you’re not yet familiar with the practice of teaching kids about music from an early age, just research the Suzuki method. It focuses on using a child’s natural listening skills to first learn a song by hearing alone, then translate that knowledge to an instrument.
Some children begin learning instruments from the age of 3, and can even find instruments that are specially sized for smaller bodies. The same is true with the Brigham Young University program. There, the toddler participants have access to instruments like drums, guitars and even a tuba.
By offering child-sized instruments, it can be easier to encourage a young person to give music a try, and simultaneously light a spark of creativity that can continue throughout their entire lives.
A Chance to Volunteer
Although overseeing toddler education can be difficult at times, many who do it feel that it offers an excellent chance to volunteer one’s time, and become personally enriched as well.
The Suzuki method hosts music camps all over the country, which often attract thousands of attendees. Sometimes, parents learn along with children, and even voluntarily supervise other classes while their own children are receiving instruction.
Similarly, the Brigham Young University program frequently attracts people who are interested in making a career out of teaching others about music. Participants can gain a wealth of expertise simply by observing students, and seeing how their behaviors change when exposed to music.
A Way to Connect
Arguably, one of the strongest advantages of music as an art form is that it has the power to connect people of different ages, social backgrounds and even break down language barriers. Programs that focus on introducing this form of expression to toddlers are proving by example that it’s never too young to form relationships with others through music.
Often, creating music isn’t always about counting precise rhythms, remembering snippets of music theory and practicing major scales. Although these skills are important, it’s just as crucial to connect with others who value the beauty of impromptu creativity.
By learning music as a toddler, young children can begin to learn to value the creative arts in ways that could propel them through life, and make it easier to reach out to others and form friendships.
Stacie Everett is a musician and blogger. If you are interested in pursuing a career in music education, the University of Florida and New York University offer degree programs that teach you the latest teaching methods.