How to develop the musical abilities of your young children
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How to Develop the Musical Abilities of Your Little Child
When it comes to developing abilities in children, we face two contradictory facts:
-The earlier we start, the better.
-The younger the child is, the more difficult it is for him or her to understand concepts and reproduce actions following the instructions given by the teacher.
This apparent contradiction is resolved if we consider that music education has two important facets: the intuitive (usually related to ‘musicality’) and the intellectual (used for musical literacy).
There is very little that young children (birth to three years old) can absorb about music literacy but we can, and indeed we should, work on their musicality. That’s why at Stringnote we have developed a series of curricular activities that provide opportunities to make (change ‘make’ to either ‘help’ or ‘allow’) children to develop their natural musicality. Thus, we only introduce a few essential elements of musical literacy, as we know that there will be more time for this in the future.
My extensive experience teaching music to children of all ages shows me that the possibility of developing children’s musicality begins to the (delete ‘the’) wane as they reach a certain developmental stage, which is – depending on the child – usually between seven and ten years old. After that, it becomes more difficult and time consuming for a child to become ‘naturally musical’. Coincidentally, musical literacy improves as the child develops his or her intellectual capabilities, because the increasingly challenging school curriculum supports the child’s intellectual understanding of the more complex concepts of music theory.
Therefore, our Programme is based on the understanding that we have a relatively short ‘window of opportunity’, perhaps just a few years until the child reaches a certain developmental stage, to cultivate musicality. In our academy we invest our time and energy in developing precisely those aspects that are best nurtured at a very early age.
Working in musicality at such an early stage is not an easy task. Children are reluctant to participate in anything that they don’t perceive to be a playful activity. Because of that, our job as an early learning academy of music is to develop activities that teach music in a friendly, playful way. This is also the main difference between Stringnote and other music groups because, instead of simply singing nursery songs, our group sessions are packed with well-planned and specially designed non-structured activities to develop the natural musicality that, in different degrees, all children have.
In this challenging task, we have a powerful ally. Music itself has an almost irresistible attraction for everybody, as it is part of our nature and daily life. Children are naturally inclined to music and Stringnote’s Talent Development Programme simply supports their love for music by cultivating the skills necessary for enjoying and fully participating in rewarding musical experiences throughout the rest of their lives.