Since sonny boy stays at home with me, I have to come up with creative ways to keep him entertained while still teaching him valuable lessons. For example, in our schedule, Monday is Music Day. This is by far the day that we both enjoy fully. Hubby and I come from very musical families: Both of my parents were popular area deejays around the end of the 70s and most of the 80s, while Hubby’s family, full of PhDs and lawyers, attribute learning to read, write and play music as one of the reasons they were able to attain the degrees they have. My dad played the trumpet most of his life, while the piano was the instrument of choice in Hubby’s home growing up.
When it comes to us, my lessons learning piano and spending half of my life in choir, acapella groups and musicals and Hubby’s lessons learning trumpet, saxophone, piano, and accordion(yeah, i know) made us into even bigger music lovers.
So, needless to say, music is and will continue to be important in our household. What I do to make it interesting and fun for Sonny is just as important.
1. To start the day off, we sing a song. No particular one, but our favorite thing to sing is the steps I take to make his breakfast that day. “Mommy’s toasting waffles, putting on the butter, yeah yeah yeah.” Anything can be a song. To make it even more fun, we change octaves and see how high or low we can sing the same sentence.
2. We pull out the instruments. Above you see sonny’s little instruments that his great-aunt got him 2 christmases ago. If you don’t have instruments, boxes, pots, pans and even beans in a jar all make great music makers. They are great tools for learning but are quite loud. I risk my ears for about an hour after breakfast and just let him go at it. He sometimes makes up his own little beats and sometimes he just hits the triangle for the whole hour. I want to encourage his musical creativity, so this one hour he gets to do whatever he wants. It’s the most challenging hour for me, but I get over it pretty quickly.
3. Clapping with the beats. To teach him about things like staccato beats, off beats, and even soul claps, we play a musical version of simon says. When we first started, I would clap a beat, he would copy and I would tell him what kind it was. Now that he is a bit older, I tell him “simon says clap a staccato beat” and he does it. Sometimes he still gets them mixed up, but I just show him by clapping for him and we continue. This has become great game to do in the car once he generally knew what the names were.
4. We rock out! As much as I love the kiddie songs like “mary had a little lamb” and “little bunny foo-foo” I like to broaden the kiddo’s mind a bit. Since he was in the womb, I’ve played music for him, like Mozart, Bach, Rolling Stones, janet jackson, No Doubt, etc. Our music days have only broadened both of our loves of music. I love to look for off-beat, alternative types of music to add to my Ipod and play it for him. Pop, R&B, Rap, and Rock is great, but not all there is in life. I also love to find some oldies for him to learn and since to the grandparents. He does a mean version of “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles.
5. We end the day with daddy. Since hubby produces music, it’s always fun to see sonny and him interact with music as the catalyst. On Mondays, I send the kiddo in the studio area with Dad and they do whatever. Whether it’s listening to some of Hubby’s new music, watching youtube videos of cool instruments, or just singing silly songs together, I know that he’s still working the right side of the brain.
How about you all? How important is music in your household? Do you listen to it while cooking, cleaning or getting ready to start your days? If you have kiddos, do you like to do musical things with them?
On a side note: If you all haven’t seen the movie “The Soloist” please do yourself a favor and rent it. It’s amazing how music can affect a person’s life and well-being, and how friendship can do the same.