In an increasingly fast-paced age, our children are left with precious few opportunities to slow down. They are left with little time to be STILL, silent, and contemplative.
The education pioneer, Charlotte Mason, so aptly stated this concern:
Our children are unable to make use of their natural gifts unless we cultivate the HABIT OF ATTENTION in them.
Listening to music is a perfect way to cultivate this habit.
It is good news for parents and educators there is no shortage of beautiful music to place in front of our children!
Any habit we are wanting our children to master should be approached in incremental bits.
Start with short periods of listening and progress from there.
Preschool and Kindergarten age children may only be able to listen quietly for two minutes. Older children can work their way up to an 8-10 minute piece.
This Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time Essentials playlist provides many pieces your child can practice with.
Encourage your child to close their eyes, place their head on the table (or lay in a comfortable spot) and simply listen. Ask them to form a picture in their heads of what the music sounds like.
The more a child practices this skill, the better they become.
One day you will be able to take them to listen to a 45 minute Beethoven symphony and they will have no trouble listening and attending.
What if you have a child who simply CANNOT sit still and quiet for any amount of time to listen to a piece of music?
Give your child one simple task to complete while listening. Tell them you are going to play a piece of music and as long as the music is playing they must be engaged in that task - NOT talking or doing anything else!
- building with LEGOS
- playing with Playdoh
- coloring a picture of the composer or instruments
- a type of handicraft - stringing beads, knitting, etc...
Download our popular Draw What You Hear sheet to use during this time.
This is the sneakiest way to build the habit of attention through listening to music.
There are many situations when our children are captive during the day - meal times, rest times, and riding in the car are among a few of these.
Start playing beautiful music during these times.