Back when we welcomed our first daughter, the last thing that crossed my mind was music education. But, as she began to grow and explore, I found that she was always gravitating to musical instruments and toys. Both my husband and I are not musically inclined, as we don't sing or play instruments. So, we weren't sure where Savannah got her love for musical instruments and dancing.
After talking to friends who little ones, we found that many young children like to explore by playing with musical instruments and toys that make sounds. Many of our friends also shared how they took their children to a local music together class, where they would sing, play musical instruments and dance around to the rhythms. Wanting to expose Savannah to a structured music education class, we enrolled and have been taking Savannah and now Bella every Saturday morning. It is not only nice to spend quality family time together, but I can see how music education is benefiting the girls in so many ways.
Each semester that the girls are enrolled in this family-based music class we learn from the instructor the benefits of music on different ages. Did you know that music boosts brain power? It stimulates parts of the brain that children use for reading, emotional development and even math. It also helps improve memory,a s the girls are learning through repetition songs. We found that Savannah started talking and singing songs from the music class at around 9 months old. Bella followed suit and started talking around the same age. And, now they both are at the same vocabulary level, even though they are 15 months apart. They love singing songs that they have learned, and will even do the different gestures and movements they learned for the different songs. I have to admit, my memory has gotten a little foggy since having the girls -- maybe it is from getting up through the nights. But, since we all started going to this music class, I, too, have found my memory getting better, as I learn and memorize the songs to sing at home with the girls. :-)
Because the music class is filled with parents and their children, this was the first socialization my girls had outside the house. I don't have them enrolled in daycare, so they only socialize with other children their age when we do mommy and me meetups. But, at least I can count on every Saturday for the girls to be together with familiar faces, who have been taking the music class with us for over a year. I love watching the girls socialize and get excited about music and learning new things with their friends. Music brought the kids and parents together, and for an hour we bond over music appreciation and watch as our children learn and develop a love for music.
Does your child's soon have music class? My hometown stopped their music program about 5 years ago. And, I found through parents who attend this music class that our local schools also don't have a structured music program in place. Instead, they will have an assembly where the entire school will learn about music for about an hour, or it is up to the teachers to teach the children through song about music. Not really exposing children to music and developing musical talents, if they are so inclined to branch out and want to learn to play certain instruments, read music, etc. Parents who have children who show interest in music end up enrolling their children in music classes like this, or try out different instrument lessons, including drum circle, violin, piano, etc.
While my girls are not yet school aged -- Savannah just turned 4 yrs. old this past July, and Bella is 2 yrs. old, I am trying to expose them to music and instruments through this music class and at home play and exploration. One way that I introduce them to music is by picking up different instruments and musical toys and letting them play and see what types of sounds they can make with each. Recently, I was asked to review a few recorders, along with a folding musical stand and music book.
I jumped at the opportunity, as I loved playing the recorder back in elementary school. I used to play a mean Hot Cross Buns! :-)
Did you play recorder in school, or did your children? While you may think that kids are just making loud noise, which they are when just starting out, over time, if they stick with it, like other musical instruments, they will start to learn. Back when I was learning the recorder, I also learned how to read music, write my own scales, etc. I have so many fond memories of my years learning and playing the recorder. And, while I never became a master recorder player, I do feel it had it benefits, including socializing with other kids learning the recorder, was a great form of expression when I had to create and write my own music to play for the class, but most importantly it taught discipline. I had to practice outside of school, and this meant penciling time out of playtime with friends to practice. There were days, especially when the warmer spring/summer months came around that I wished I was outside playing, rather than sitting at my desk, practicing my recorder. But, I am so glad that I stuck with. And, now, with the help of Cascio Interstate Music and their recorder and accessories offering, I am now able to share the many benefits of music with my girls at such a young age.
"Ravel Recorders produce the mellow tones representing modern and Renaissance styles, ideal for solo or ensemble playing. Available in a stylish, solid ivory finish as well as in six translucent colors, these models make playing fun for the beginner, or for anyone interested in a quality instrument at a sound value.
First quality, ABS resin plastic construction with a refined finish and enduring body ensure years of reliable use. Three-piece construction allows for easy cleaning, and the German-style fingering system allows easier finger placement for beginners.
Available in your choice of six translucent colors: Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple or Red; or solid Ivory.
Ravel Musical Instruments' company name pays homage to renowned French Impressionist composer, Maurice Ravel. Just as Ravel sought "tonal color and variety of sound and instrumentation" in his music, the Ravel brands group seeks tonal color and variety in its musical instrument offerings.
All Ravel Musical Instruments are hand crafted and undergo rigorous design and testing. Instruments are tested and re-tested both overseas and at Ravel's U.S. facility. Ravel believes strongly that pre-production design work and testing, in advance of actual production, helps assure and guarantee the quality and consistency demanded.
Quality and Sound Value ... Ravel."
Thankfully, we live in the country, as I think the neighbors would be calling the police on us for loud noise. When I first introduced the girls to the recorder, they blew with all their might. Screeching and high pitched noise came from their recorders, followed by giggling and big grins. The girls loved hearing the high pitched sounds that came from simply blowing into the recorder. Then, I showed them how a recorder is supposed to sound. It was weird -- just like riding a bike, you never forget. After a few minutes of tinkering around the recorder, I was able to play songs I learned as a child, and share with the girls what a recorder is supposed to sound like.
We have only had our Ravel recorders for a few weeks now, but the girls continue to stick with it, and we have a music class at home two times a week for about a half (all that they can stay focused for). They love standing in front of the folding music stand, also from Raven, and sharing their creative pieces they have composed. :-) And, when we are not practicing with the recorders, I can store the recorders in their plastic storage bags they came with, and the music stand folds up and can be stored in the handy carrying bag. This makes for easy clean up and storage. I don't have to search high and low for the instruments and accessories when it is time for music class.
Who knows if my girls will continue to show a love for music beyond singing to the radio and television. But, for now, they are being exposed through our weekly music class each Saturday, and are loving their recorder time with mommy. :-)
Are you looking to expose your child to music education and the many benefits of music, but don't know where to start? Why not research in your community or ask other parents about music classes available. Or, head on over to Cascio Interstate Music and browse their extensive collection of musical instruments and accessories. Kids will love experimenting with the sounds that come from the instruments. And, with instructional manuals and music books, they can learn at home, before they advance to you paying for lessons in instruments like piano and the violin, which can be costly with purchasing instruments and supplies prior to lessons beginning. I have had a few friends buy instruments, only to find their child losing interest or getting discouraged a few weeks or months into it. So, now the instruments sit stored away, waiting to be found and picked up again.
Maybe by Christmas time my girls will be playing songs that you can actually "Name that tune". But, in the meantime, they are having fun with their Raven recorders from Cascio Insterstate Music. :-)
To learn more about Cascio Interstate Music and shop their online store visit http://www.interstatemusic.com/. With over 100,000 items in one place, you are bound to find a musical instrument and accessories to get your kids (of any age) excited about music, especially if music is not offered in their school.
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Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.