How to give your child a good music education?

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child music education
Photo: Romrodinka, Bigstock

Music is the backbone of society. In the last several years, music education has become a thing of the past. Music is not taught in many schools around Australia.

Funding was cut, meaning less hours for music teachers. It is still possible to give children a rich music education in spite of the funding cuts and lack of quality music education in Australia.

Every body is musical and deserves exposure to music. The aim is not to develop concert performers, but to love music and have it as a life long skill.

Kids can learn young

While music education is becoming more non existent in schools, the early childhood sector is booming. From birth, parents can start singing to their child.

There are many music programs designed with young children in mind; some starting as babies and then including education for primary, secondary and adults. Those programs are well rounded and provide what the schools are unable to provide.

What makes a good music education program?

At the early stages from birth to 5, those music education programs offer fun activities designed to develop music skills. Movement is a major part of the program, where children move to the music and parents are actively involved in helping their child.

Parental involvement is vital and good for bonding with your child. Singing also a major part of many of those programs. Singing is considered the first instrument a child will ever learn and children are encouraged to sing uninhibited.

The combination of singing and movement develops the child’s fine motor skills, listening skills and aural development. A side benefit is it helps with school readiness skills as they are used to being part of a team and following directions from the teacher.

Are there programs for older children?

Those programs often extend to older children and even adults. Once a foundation of music and movement is established, the child is introduced to musical instruments. Usually starting of percussion instruments, then branching out to piano and others.

Usually those classes are conducted in a group setting, where the children encourage each other along. They like to start to earn music notation and to express themselves musically.

What happens after those programs?

After completing one of those programs, students often go on to private lessons. Those children are a pleasure to teach, because they already have well developed music skills. They can keep time, play with feeling and have basic notation skills.

They tend to be able to perform better and learn faster. Many musicians excel at maths and other subjects. Music for those children becomes a lifelong passion; they may not necessarily become concert musicians, but they do love music and often it is a stable part of their life.

Where to find music classes?

Check your local community center. Many of them have classes for the younger age groups, which is a good foundation for moving on to a music school.

There are many music schools who use a variety of approaches from Orff to Suzuki. Check the web or look at an online music teacher directly for childhood music classes.