Most, if not all, children love music. Whether it begins with the ballads in their movies, listening to your music in the car, or hearing you play your own music at home, music impacts kids much in the same way it does in adults. So, how do you transition from simply listening to and enjoying music to exploring a musical instrument?
Your child expresses rhythm.
In most young kids, clumsiness and falling down is all a part of their regular development, but if you’ve noticed that your child is more methodical or precise — perhaps guided by a natural rhythm — it may be the perfect opportunity to expose them to the piano!
Because a small child is learning about themselves and the world around them so rapidly, they may not even understand what rhythm is or for that fact, what a musical instrument is, so the earlier they’re exposed and can curiously explore a musical instrument, the more likely they’ll take to it and want to express themselves through it.
Music is in the family.
If you or any family member plays an instrument, there’s a good chance that this exposure will spur a curiosity in your child. Children love to mimic what their parents or family members do, so if someone sits and plays the piano around the house, chances are they will too!
There has always been the looming debate on whether or not musical talent is innate or learned, but when a child is exposed day in and day out to a musical instrument, the exposure alone will play a big part in their interest.
If you begin to see your little one pretending to play the piano or they want to sit at the piano with you, perhaps it’s time for lessons!
Your child enjoys alone time.
If your child doesn’t mind being alone with a book or playing with toys by themselves, this may make a musical instrument a great companion! Many musicians revel in alone time and spend a good time practicing by themselves — so instead of practicing being an obligation, musically gifted people tend to experience it as a reward.
Your child is naturally talented.
Every parent or caregiver believes their child is extraordinary, but a musically gifted child will have the ability to distinguish notes that are off, can play by ear, or can pick up an instrument and make it work.
Perhaps you’re watching a program on TV and a singer sings off-key and your child gives that face like, “what was that?” because they know the note was wrong. Or, after noticing their ability to discern notes you get them a small keyboard to play around on and they’re able to play a song by ear or have figured out not only notes, but chords.
From expressing exceptional rhythm to being naturally gifted in music, there are ways to recognize that your child may want to play an instrument, and many times the piano is a great beginning instrument to get them started!
Perhaps your child may show signs of musical ability, but what if they don’t or what if you’re not sure? Does that mean they should forego playing the piano or a musical instrument altogether?
When it comes to playing the piano you don’t have to have a prodigy on your hands, sometimes it just takes getting a little more curious!
Creating Curiosity In Your Budding Piano Player!
Curiosity is one part of musical exploration that is so important. It’s important to learn, discover, and explore what music is and what playing a musical instrument could look like. Below we’ll delve into helping to get curious around music with your child.
Guide your little one into getting curious!
The great thing about kids is they’re naturally inquisitive and love to ask questions. Spur this curiosity around music by asking them if they like the music that is playing or what their favorite kind of music is. You can even begin taking them to live performances and begin talking about what you see on stage and what they’re experiencing.
A children’s museum is a good resource because they will typically have hands-on musical instruments that kids can explore. However you explore music, it increases self-awareness, collaboration, and communication in your child and better develops a learning mindset.
Adopt a “no pressure” approach.
As an adult, how many times do we freeze up or become paralyzed when we’re learning something new? Probably more times than not and this comes from an expectation of wanting to perform or do something exactly right — we get in the way of our own success. But, the beautiful thing about kids is, they haven’t learned this yet and they typically won’t overthink what they’re doing. It’s so important to adopt this as you’re exploring a musical instrument.
When it comes to playing an instrument, just go in with no expectations and see what happens? What do they gravitate to or where is their curiosity? Take note and keep going!
Staying curious is all about real-life situations.
Many times we can help encourage our kids’ curiosity by taking them to concerts or to the music store, but what about everyday life? Use each moment to stay curious about music.
Perhaps you’re walking downtown and there is a public piano or street performers — ask them about what they think or dialogue about what instruments they’re playing. Or, if you’re running errands and they’re bopping along to a song in the car, ask them what instrument they hear or talk more about what genre of music it is.
There are so many ways to stay connected and curious about music in your daily activities, so you don’t have to necessarily go out of your way to talk and explore music.
Collaborate with friends!
Kids are social learners so consider exploring music or musical instruments in a group of their friends. Observe music lessons for kids or watch a quick movie about a kid who plays the piano — exploring music can even be as simple as creating your own instruments (pots, pans, wooden spoons, and everything else in-between) and inviting their friends over to jam to some fun music!