Music and the Young Child — A Healthy Partnership
All young children love music. They experience music by hearing it, by moving to it, by
banging to it, and by playing with their voices. Music is a part of the young child's world.
Little ones enjoy being sung to:
- nurture attachment,
- provide a safe environment for realizing, exploring and sharing creativity
- calm when words cannot,
- offer an outlet for coping with emotions,
- give structure and information in a non-threatening way,
- provide opportunities for making a unique contribution to a group experience,
- foster self-confidence and feelings of success.
Little ones enjoy sounds:
- With a quiet lullaby at nap time and bedtime as you rock. Keep the beat slow and steady.
Many young children will find this special time very calming.
- About activities of her day -- no need to use the same words each time. Making up words
that describe her activity is fun for both of you and demonstrates your interest in your
- With children's songs that are familiar to him (such as "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"). Sing
them over and over. The song's familiarity is predictable and comforting.
- With your favorite songs. She will enjoy seeing you enjoy and share music, too.
- As you transition between activities or places. The music will help your child accept and
A few tips for using music with your little one:
- That have surprises (like "Pop! Goes the Weasel"),
- That rattle or ring or come from music boxes or musical toys,
- Or from things found around the house (such as pots and pans),
- That are in their environment - such as trains or birds singing,
- That they can make with their bodies (like clapping, tapping or patting), and
- That help them express themselves and their feelings in a safe and acceptable way.
- Don't be shy about singing - your child will respond to the rhythm, melody and the joy
with which you sing...and he will welcome the chance to share this time with you.
- Match your child's energy level - upbeat songs when she's ready for play and lullabies
when she's tired.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat....do it again, and again, and again. Children learn through
- Expose your little one to many different types of music. Borrow CDs from the library or
listen to examples online before purchasing -- find the ones that you and your child like
- By making music with your child, you can share traditions of your culture.
- Let your child lead; comment on and praise his ideas. This validates him and builds selfesteem
- Relax and enjoy this special time for interacting and sharing with your little one.
Take time to share music with your child - from the cradle and throughout