I've been doing remote learning with my 1st grader (yeah it feels like I'm in 1st grade again too). It had a rough start but we are finally in a groove. The other day she was wrapping up the last little bit of schoolwork and mentioned to me that she missed music class, and hoped her teacher was ok.
If I lost music programs as a kid, I would be bummed out as well. I remember music class bringing me so much joy in elementary school and beyond!
My art and music teachers became my favorites, and when I got older we'd eat lunch in the band room or spend hours there hanging out after school. Those memories are some of my fondest ones from that time in my life.
What really bites is right now our kids don't get those experiences. We know it's not going to last forever but it sure does feel like it. The reality is that they were experiencing the loss of music and the arts well before the pandemic began.
When funding cuts come, music and arts are the first to hit the chopping block. Why are programs that bring so much joy to youth the first to go? It is mind boggling, especially since the arts give us real world application of STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
As a parent, you have the power RIGHT NOW to shift that narrative. The seat of your child's education isn't in a schoolhouse, it's in your home.
I decided last month to enroll my daughter in voice lessons with another teacher at the Lab, Celeste. Since Cadence started voice lessons she has been so excited to sing LOUD! Cadence wants to practice every day. I made a Spotify playlist for her and she can ask the Echo Dot in her room to play it.
She takes pride in singing along with the lyrics we printed out and enthusiastically rummages through her music notebook to find the next song before it begins (strengthening her literacy skills). I have seen her confidence grow so much just in the past few weeks! Instead of a tiny little voice, she's in her room belting out Disney tunes and Nirvana songs and jumping around.
We are a family that takes Covid 19 very seriously, that being said we don't get out of the house much lately. Cadence really looks forward to her Wednesday lesson and it makes me super happy to see my little one so excited about learning music!
I want to encourage all of you to add music to your kids curriculum. It might be the bright little bit of sunshiney normalness you and your children need right now.
Even if you can't afford music lessons, make a playlist, sing songs, dance around and have some fun with your kids making music too!
Here's a few things you can do to get your child's music muscles working:
Spend quality time with them picking out songs for a playlist and print out some lyrics so they can read along!
Have them make a drum kit out of blocks, toys, pots and pans, whatever and then have them tap out rhythms to your playlist! They can hit the notes the same way they sing the vocals or try to identify the other instruments to play along with.
Have a dance party in the middle of the school day.
Ask them to perform for you to get them excited about an event! They can dress up and perform some of the songs from your playlist!
Of course another great thing to do is sign them up for music lessons! Our teachers would be super happy to help your child in-person or online. We have a Holiday Lessons Package that is a pretty sweet deal!
Thanks for reading!
PS: We will be posting #12daysofchristmasvideos this week on our social media as our Holiday Student Showcase. Watch the videos with your family and get inspired! We have folks of all ages performing in short 30 second to 3 minute videos every day. Just follow us on FB or IG.