Teaching children to appreciate classical music is an important undertaking. Although there are many genres of popular and contemporary music that are child-friendly, classical music is a tradition that requires a deeper appreciation for acoustics. Exposing your child to classical music at an early age is important.
What types of classical music are best for teaching music to children? Classical music is a blanket term for instrumental and vocal music that follows traditional structures and patterns. Classical music spans centuries, so there are many different types and sounds. The Baroque and Romantic periods have the most child-friendly music, with repeating melodies and soothing instrumentals. Other pieces of classical music were written specifically for children, including "Peter and the Wolf" by Prokofiev.
Why is classical music important? Studies have shown that classical music is stimulating to neural development. The sounds also promote relaxation in listeners. More than that, classical music is a Western tradition that spans many hundreds of years and provided the majority of entertainment before the advent of technology. Understanding the culture's history and nuances is enriching to children.
When are the best times for playing classical music for children? Try playing classical music for your children in neutral situations such as family dinners or in the car on the way to soccer practice. Exposing children to classical music familiarizes them with the genre. Ask your children questions about what they enjoyed most about a certain piece. Engaging children in listening during a routine makes classical music a part of their lives. Do not ignore popular and contemporary music, either. Too much of any type of music becomes overwhelming.
Does hearing classical music make it easier for a child to learn an instrument? Exposure to classical music from an early age does make learning an instrument like the piano or violin easier, and teaching music to children is easier when they are familiar with the patterns and sounds of music. However, playing classical music for your child does not guarantee that she is going to play an instrument or even have the skills necessary to do so. It might inspire your child to want to learn how to read music and play an instrument, however.
Expose your children to classical music early in their lives, and they are sure to appreciate the music for many years to follow. Do not play just one type of music for your child, as that becomes isolating and repetitive. Talk about how much you appreciate classical music, and soon enough, you are likely to have a burgeoning enthusiast on your hands.
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