From the time that I started my education at Clemson University in the Elementary Education department, and throughout my numerous professional learning opportunities in the public school setting, one theme resonated over and over again when it comes to music and learning- music aids and enhances learning. I have always been a big believer in this art, and cringe at the thought of music education being taken out of the curriculum in our public schools. From the time that my daughter was in the womb to now, almost a year and a half outside the womb, I have found one thing to be certain- children of all ages LOVE music! Pairing what I have learned about music through my own education with what I have found about music through my daughter, I knew this was something that I wanted to incorporate in my “curriculum,” (for lack of a better word).
Incorporating Musical Instruments
I owe the beginning of this “music education” for sweet T and the boys to my dear friend Mallory, who is a music teacher in the public school system where I worked for seven wonderful years. Her passion and love of music have driven her to become an amazing and effective music teacher (not to mention she was also Teacher of the Year at her School)! It was only natural that when T’s first birthday rolled around she gave T her own set of musical instruments!!! And let me tell you, they were a hit! T and the boys all love to explore the sounds they can make with each musical instrument, and it has encouraged them to make sounds with a number of other items. Click here to see the link of the set that T has, and with which we play every Monday during our music time! I was inspired for how to incorporate these instruments into our music time from the class that I took T and the boys to at a local church. Teeny Tykes and Tunes is the program that we attended, and the kids had a blast! They have classes for all age levels- infants through preschool, and it is such a great program. You can check out their curriculum here!
We are a BIG fan of Nursery Rhymes in the Bivone home, and we find ourselves singing them throughout the week, not just Mondays! If you are like me, you probably forgot a lot of them. I mean, I knew the basics, “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” “London Bridge is Falling Down,” etc, but I really had forgotten a lot of them and had to “refresh” my memory! I found these videos to be especially helpful, and in a pinch, T loves to watch them on my phone! (You definitely want to enable Guided Access on your Iphone if you have a button-happy toddler like mine!) I love to incorporate movement into our singing of nursery rhymes, so we typically “act out” our singing of nursery rhymes. For instance, rowing back and forth singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” etc. I can post videos if y’all are interested in what we do, but you can use your imagination with this activity. The sillier the better! As long as you and your little one are having fun, that is all that matters! 🙂
Creating our Own Musical Instruments
We also love to create our own musical instruments using items that we already have around the house!!! Do you have empty baby food jars? What about empty puff containers? Pair these two items with things in your pantry like dried beans, pasta, rice, etc. and you have yourself DIY musical instruments. Building these items with your toddler, and then exploring the sounds they make is a great way to incorporate music if you don’t have a set of music instruments already. And, the kids will have a blast doing this with you! I am planning on incorporating rubber bands and tupperware containers in the future to mimic a guitar of sorts, but we are not ready for the use of rubber bands right now. Haha! Right now, I will just settle for using the tupperware containers as “drums,” which is always a popular activity in our home. Use your imagination and have fun, that is what it is all about!
What are some ways that you incorporate music and sounds?!?! I’m experimenting with an animal sounds activity that I will blog about in the future, but wanted to try it out and tweak it as needed before doing so.
I would LOVE to hear your input and ideas too! This blog is all about moms sharing with one another. Notice I said sharing NOT comparing! Being a mom is a hard enough job already. Throw in Pinterest and social media, and we can be super hard on ourselves comparing to all the “perfect” moms out there. I will be the first to say that I am by no means perfect, and this blog is not meant to make you feel imperfect in ANY way. This is simply a safe place for us to share and get ideas from one another. I’m looking forward to continuing to help each other provide fun, engaging, and educational activities for our little ones, no matter their ages.
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful week!