As a parent, your first and foremost job is to provide the very best you can for your kids. You make sure they get the best nutrition, go to the best schools, and have the best birthday parties. Parents make sure to buy toys with educational purposes and watch children's television shows that will allow the child to become bilingual. With so much focus towards child obesity, parents are also working hard to encourage physical activity and more outside play. But how do we encourage our musical children?
Kids of all ages (yes, even you Mom and Dad) should be exposed to lots of different kinds of music. The best and easiest way to do this is by going to the library and bringing home CDs. There are tons of great children's CDs (my favorite is Snacktime! by Barenaked Ladies) in many different styles of music. And don't shy away from encouraging your child to listen to the music that you like best. Bring home some jazz or even disco!
Another great way to encourage musical children is to get them involved in a music class. Many communities offer extra-curricular music classes for school aged kids. Here in Cedar Rapids, we have a great organization called the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy. For younger kids, many music schools and preschools offer kindermusik programs.
Finally, my favorite way to encourage your child to be musical is to play and sing with your child. Maybe you play the piano or saxophone, or maybe you're really good at banging pot lids or pounding a paint bucket with a wooden spoon. Either way, nothing gets kids more excited about music than having their parents involved. Worried about running out of ideas of songs to sing? Check out this site. It has lyrics and sound files for TONS of great kids songs (I use this website myself for my son!). Or, make up your own music. Nothing inspires creativity in your child like seeing you be creative!