I’m rocking out, mummy! – JD, 3
JD is very into his music. I think he always has been. I listened to a lot of music in the third trimester, often deliberately loud enough for him to be able to hear. I tried to be varied in the range I played – everything from Metallica to Portishead to Turin Brakes to Stravinsky.
When he was born, we were keen not to teach him that silence was needed for sleep, so we kept the music tradition going – not loud, just enough for there to be a semi-constant musical presence. And I almost always sung him to sleep. In fact, almost all of the first few words in his vocabulary were learned through song. We’d sing a line from a nursery rhyme, and he’d pipe up when it got to the last word.
Now he’s older, music time tends to seems to fall into some distinct (though often overlapping) types. Are you little ones the same?
We sing…all the time. We sing along to music. We sing those almost uniformly awful theme tunes from CBeebies shows. We even sing conversations. JD sings while he’s drawing, too. We didn’t consciously encourage this, it’s just sort of followed on from the nursery rhymes of the early days, and now – in my not so objective opinion – he can hold a pretty good tune.
Wooden spoons on pans, palms of hands on the table, bottles full of dry rice and pencils dragged over corrugated cardboard – if there’s a way to make music (or at the very least, loud noises) out of his surroundings, JD will find a way.
We’ve got a tiny 1/4 size guitar (currently missing a string) and an electric keyboard – both of which JD loves for a while, then forgets, then loves again. He can’t ‘play’ as such – I’m not skilled enough on either to teach him, really – but he is patient and careful with them, and occasionally produces something we’d all recognise as music. In any case, he loves it.
With an iPhone and iPad in the house, the temptation to let JD experiment with musical apps was too great. At the moment, he’s a dab hand with the iPod app (to access our music library), Spotify (to find and stream music), Virtuoso (a piano app that allows two people to play at once if you have the iPad version), and Guitar (a very cute app that turns three quarters of the screen into a guitar neck, and the remaining portion into the strumming part – lots of fun).
Since he started nursery about 18 months ago, JD has enjoyed a weekly session with ‘Jo Jingles’ – a lady who visits with a box of instruments, CDs and a heap of funky dance moves. He also brings home some ‘homework’ which usually consists of colouring in or copying something associated with what he’s been learning. Recently it’s been the symbols for notes (breve, semibreve etc) and pictures of various instruments with their names – apparently there was a scuffle involving a ‘clave’ the other week…
Is your little one similar? Do you find other ways to make music fun?