Knowledge of beautiful music enriches our children in so many ways.
This music represents all that is true, beautiful, and good - not to mention the emotional and intellectual benefits it provides.
Music Appreciation is something that often slips through the cracks because it's seen as secondary, or because we don't feel equipped to teach the finer points of a piece of music.
Never fear. At SQUILT Music we equip parents and educators to easily and enjoyably share great music with children and teach them its intricacies. We want to spread the word about the importance of music and how to teach it to children.
10 Reasons Music is Important for Children
1. Music brightens the mood.
The next time you are having a bad day, turn on your favorite music and take a break to sing, dance, or listen. You will be amazed at what music can do for a child who is in a funk. Try it next time!
2. Studying music increases mathematical and scientific reasoning skills.
From spatial awareness and pattern recognition in young children, to complex rhythmic (math) skills and discernment in older children, music is just GOOD for our children's math and science skills.
3. All things become easier with music.
Whether it is learning the capitals of the states, multiplication tables, or the three states of matter, facts can be more easily committed to memory with the aid of music. Playing relaxing Classical music for children can also increase concentration.
4. Learning to play an instrument builds a high level of decision making.
Playing an instrument requires FOCUSED concentration with no distractions! The average piano player makes 7 decision per second while they are playing.
5. Learning to play an instrument builds DISCIPLINE.
To achieve success on an instrument, a player must keep a disciplined practice schedule. This discipline is much like a muscle, that when strengthened helps in many other areas of life.
6. Listening to beautiful music builds PATIENCE and FOCUS.
Patience and focus are two things lacking in our children's lives. Through listening to a piece of music, a child may have to just SIT for as long as 10 minutes and simply LISTEN. (Do you know many adults that could do this without reaching for a device to check their email or social media?)
7. Listening to music from a particular culture/time period gives children a glimpse into life at that point in time.
Children can learn so much about history through music - the emotions conveyed by the composer and the style of music teach so much about an era of history.
8. Sharing music with family and friends increases emotional connections.
Music is a universal language. Everyone has the ability to understand love music. Children can forge connections across generations with music. Children can bring so much joy to others through sharing musical talents. Knowing the same piece of music and being able to discuss it with someone builds commonality.
9. Music allows children to express themselves.
Whether it is through writing their own music, playing an instrument, or choosing their favorite piece to put on in the car - music is a unique form of expression for our children.
10. Music is a reflection of all things beautiful in the world.
Children inherently appreciate beauty, and the more we expose them to beautiful music, the more they appreciate their Creator.
How to Teach Music Appreciation to Your Children
At SQUILT Music we have a very simple, three step approach to teaching music appreciation.
Let's use Mozart's Rondo Alla Turca (Turkish March) as an example.
Listen Quietly to the Piece of Music
Have your child lay their head down, close their eyes, and simply LISTEN. )Start with a short piece of music.) Tell them to just LISTEN for the music to tell them a story. Maybe they can get a picture in their head while they listen. Do they recognize any instruments? Just ENJOY the music without talking.
Listen Again and This Time Record Your Thoughts
In the SQUILT curriculum, the littlest of children can Draw What They Hear, and older children use a SQUILT Notebooking sheet. In the curriculum (almost scripted for the parent to read), we walk you through the elements of a piece of music - Rhythm and Tempo, Dynamics, Instrumentation and Mood.
In Rondo Alla Turca we would emphasize that this is written for the PIANO, the tempo is Allegretto, the dynamics vary anywhere from piano to forte, and the mood is whatever a child feels it to be.
Children learn, through exposure in several lessons, what instruments sound like, what the different terms are for tempo, dynamics, and other musical aspects.
We are teaching them the grammar of music, so they can apply this grammar to any piece of music they listen to in the future.
The image at right is from Volume 2: The Classical Era -- notice how everything you need to know about walking your child through a piece of music is provided for you.
After listening and analyzing this Mozart piece, maybe you will be inspired to listen to more music by Mozart, learn about his life, or explore the history of the piano.
Once children listen consistently to great music you will find they want to know MORE!
In the SQUILT curriculum we provide follow up to each lesson, so that you can dig deeper with your children. That's the fun part!