For any parent, let alone a single mom, juggling work, school and home life is already a huge task. Throw in extracurricular for the kids and you may begin to feel like a taxi service as you shuffle between soccer practice, ballet and karate. Not to mention that all these activities usually cost a significant bit. But of course, moms want their children to have wonderful opportunities to gain new skills and enjoy being part of a group or special pursuit.
One recreation possibility that many parents and children would like to become involved in is music. Along with providing a fantastic outlet for expression and creativity, music has been shown to increase development, memory, cognitive ability and confidence in children.
But like any other extra activity, the time and cost involved in purchasing an instrument and driving to weekly music lessons can be a serious expense. Luckily, however, there are some simple ways to still expose your children to the joy of music while maintaining your sanity and your budget.
1. Find Local Live Music
A great way to being enjoying music together is to research live music opportunities in your area. This might be a community concert in the park where you can take your kids on a picnic. Another great resource is the local college which will have many free or discounted (but still high quality) student productions put on by the performing arts department.
Another great option is to go online your city’s symphony website. Many orchestras put on several family oriented concerts and programs throughout the season. For instance, the Seattle Symphony hosts family concerts. Any of these productions will present a fun outing for you and your children along with important exposure to music.
2. Share Your Own Records
But if you want a great idea that won’t require you to leave the living room, try this. Chances are that you have many old CDs or perhaps even vinyl records stored somewhere in your home. Pull out these favorites from when you were younger and share them with your kids.
Children might laugh at mommy’s funny music, but they will also be fascinated by the sounds that used to be in style. This is a great opportunity to teach them about the different genres of music and how music changes over time. And as an added bonus, you will get to enjoy all your favorite older tunes with your kids.
3. Take Advantage of the Public Library
A great resource when it comes to entertaining and teaching kids is your local library. The children’s section at the library will offer lots of great audio programs and picture books about musical instruments and the famous composers. Check out a stack of books on Beethoven and Mozart. Then take them home to have an educational and fun reading time together.
Another awesome resource offered by many public libraries is weekly children’s programs. Many of these special reading times or concerts will showcase music and are completely free. Find your library’s calendar of events and see what is coming up soon.
4. Learn Together
Once you’ve brought home all your library books, it is time to start learning together. You can read about composers and their work as well as about the different kids of instruments.
You can also get some information, whether in a book or online, about basic music theory and either teach or learn with your children. Practice listening to a song together and clapping out the rhythm as you learn to keep time. These are just a few ways to explore music together incorporating learning with quality relationship time.
Hopefully these tips will lead you to an exciting but frugal way to let your child enjoy the benefits of music. Then, as your children mature in their love for music, you can begin to explore instrument options such as community music schools in San Diego or you can search for singing lessons in Chicago. Either way, these fun and free tips are great ways to get a simple start.
Written by Jessica Socheski