Ways to create a musical relationship between parent and child

Music is not just an amazing work of art; it is rather a FORCE of art. It can trigger your emotions, make you get up and dance, sing along, or motivate you to play an instrument simply for the reason of wanting to learn how to play your favorite song. Music alone can open up one’s mind to IMAGINATION, to creatively think and form images, see colors, ideas – where your mind becomes a film camera filming a motion picture based on notes, melody, harmony, lyrics, one singer, a chorus of voices, or an instrument(s). The beauty of this is the FREEDOM for one to interpret what was musically created which ignites one’s imagination.

EVERY INDIVIDUAL has their own unique interpretation of a song, the message is received to the brain in different ways based on each person’s life experiences past and present. Music can aid in recalling memories, is used as therapy for the soul, it aids in increasing endorphins needed for exercise and movement, it can be used as a motivational tool, and serves as a profound partner to lyrics, which create songs with passion that forever resonate. Learning to play music encourages discipline, instills confidence, develops teamwork, and appreciation of art. Playing music also increases cognitive and sensory development and aptitude, increases mental and physical coordination, and strengthens mathematical ability.

Because Music is such an influential tool, it is used positively and negatively to influence people. The types of music and lyrical content has the ability to challenge one’s views, shape opinions and cultures, form a person’s identity, style, and sense of fashion, serve as a tool to create new dances, visual art, or inspire the creation of future musical sounds, styles and ideas.

Music especially influences our children - all styles and lyrics. Naturally children are naïve to the influence of music when they are exposed to it at an early age – they are just as eager to embrace music as mature individuals but they appreciate music with innocent ears. Like adults, they are naturally drawn to a combination of elements that contribute to a favorable song or composition. It could be a driving percussion that makes them want to move or instruments playing an attractive melody that triggers their senses. Lyrics sung by a pleasant sounding voice or songs sung in the form of a chant can easily encourage the child to want to sing along or mimic the singer, not really understanding what the lyrics are about.

The music industry is not meant to educate children on life lessons, yet music that is for mature audiences is so easily accessible – we can tune in simply by turning the knob on the radio, switching onto MTV, BET, or VH1, or clicking online to YouTube. In this world of censor-free music and a money-driven entertainment industry, parents, teachers, and mentors must be involved with exposing children to music in two ways: 1) age-appropriate music that fits their level of understanding; and 2) music of different styles and genres. If we are around children, we all are obligated to share in making music choices on their behalf and collaborate on making children’s exposure to music an enriched, diverse and positive experience.

Understand, to encourage a well-rounded musical experience, we can’t simply rely on mainstream sources to provide that for our children. We must be involved and want to embrace music with our youth. It can start with simply taking time out with your child to share your musical influences, what recording artists, singers, composers, musicians spoke to you growing up and why, where you were when you heard that song, and how it made you feel. Playing quality music around the house is an easy and great way to begin exposing your child to appreciating music. For example, an activity of sitting down and listening to some vintage albums can revitalize your spirit with memories while teaching music history to your child in a fun, interactive way. Going to see the orchestra, the opera, or a family-friendly live music event can expose him/her to live music and how it affects the musicians performing it as well as the patrons listening to it.

When instilling positive music choices for adolescents – understand, they are going through a phase of self-identity and music is a big part of that.

Avoid forbidding a child to not listen to certain music without a justifiable reason. Just saying “Because I said so” just doesn’t cut it; otherwise kids will find a way to listen to it anyway without your knowledge because you forbade it with no valid reasons. If you are a music lover and have already begun sharing quality music during your child’s upbringing, continue the discussion but also be open to listening to your child’s interests in new music. Set boundaries but be willing to compromise, for instance you allow the child to listen to any genre as long as the lyrics are not about sex or negative content, and then encourage your child to listen to the lyrics first.

The saying of in order to move forward you have to know where you came from is the same with music as it constantly evolves. For example, if your child loves today’s hip-hop and you are an early generation hip-hop head, show him/her the “old skool” sounds where it all began, so he/she will have a broader perspective and start to shape ideas of music. If you have a strong relationship with your child and have open communication from the beginning, your child will most likely model after what you have instilled all along.

If your child is studying an instrument or voice, find a teacher, mentor (music instructor) on the same page that encourages a child’s individuality but wants the child to think about the choices they make when selecting music to enjoy. Keeping open communication with the teacher helps you to stay on the same page.

Music brings people together, its form of art bonds people together in the spirit of listening, performing, singing, dancing. The best part about sharing music between parent and child is, you are creating a unique bond with your son(s) or daughter(s), and you never know, he/she may desire a career in music and will appreciate you being a major musical influence in their early beginnings.

Canda D.
Music Instructor & Vocal Coach

- Canda D. has taught quality private voice & coaching services and beginning piano since 2002, and is currently accepting students in Greater East Atlanta. Miss Canda holds a Master's in Vocal Performance with a primary focus on vocal technique, breath coordination, crossover vocal style, coaching, and dramatic interpretation. Her music curriculum includes honing technique, projection and stamina, breath and body coordination, dramatization and stage presence, as well as learning and applying concepts in music theory, and music appreciation. She has coordinated and directed not only routine student recitals, but designed group activities with the objective of empowering students to develop self-esteem, confidence, and discipline, as well as create a support system amongst their peers.


Canda N.

Professional Music Instructor Offering Lessons in Voice and Piano

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