10 Steps to Raising a Musically Talented Child

Want to raise a child who will love music and play various instruments? Here are 10 simple steps you can take to help promote your child's future success with music.

  1. Introduce your child to music before birth! During pregnancy, place headphones over the womb and play jazz or classical music. Many medical experts believe that unborn babies can hear their mother's voice before birth and they immediately recognize her voice after birth. The same can be true with musical sounds.
  2. Play the same music immediately after birth. This will reinforce the child's memory of the music that was played when he or she was still in the womb. Besides setting the stage for the child's later development, classical and jazz music will soothe the child and help put him or her to sleep at nap or bedtime.
  3. Give your 1- to 3-year-old musical toys and games such as horns, flutes, rattles and kazoos. Encourage his or her interest in musical instruments by playing along - make music together. It is important that the child sees music as being a fun activity.
  4. Between ages 3 and 5, give your child percussion instruments, such as drums, sticks, congas and bongos. They're especially popular at this age. A musician is always a good percussionist.
  5. Take your child to concerts, music events, outdoor music festivals and plays. These activities will help solidify his or her interest in music.
  6. Encourage your child to watch TV that is musically-oriented and find fun activities that involve music.
  7. Keep nurturing your child's interest in music as he or she progresses through school. Never force music on a child. His or her interest in music should be natural.
  8. Do not be disappointed if your child's interest in music wavers. He or she may decide to switch instruments occasionally. This is a natural part of the exploration process and it will make the child's musical talents more diverse.
  9. Choose a school that has a good music program and encourage your child to participate. Try not to miss your child's musical performances and always support your child by acknowledging his or her accomplishments.
  10. Hug, love and support your child, no matter what he or she does in the musical area!

© Parenthood.com, used with permission.

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