Music

Tips & Advice

While many children want to learn about classical music and perhaps how to play an instrument, parents often have many questions as to the best way to go about helping their youngster make the best choice of instrument, select a teacher and learn to practice properly. The information in this section provides some helpful guidance in these areas.

How Can I Interest My Child in Classical Music?
Children can gain enormously through the study of classical music, from learning to think creatively to imagining solutions to complex problems.

Selecting an Instrument
Find that one instrument whose sound thrills your child, but remember the size of your car's trunk!

Choosing a Music Teacher
What to look for and which questions to ask any potential music teacher. Practicing Tips Tips for creating a successful practice environment for musicians and parents.

Guided Listening Teaching Tips
A few helpful hints from Dr. Kay Edwards, Miami University

Soothing Music for Your Young Child
Try playing some of these classical favorites at naptime or bedtime.

Girl Scouts of America Junior Badge: "Making Music"
Classics for Kids® can help fulfill several of the requirements for this badge.


Guided Listening Teaching Tips: Dr. Kay Edwards, Miami University

A Few Helpful Hints:

  1. Keep the listening experience an active one; involve the students in a variety of ways that encourage and provide multiple hearings. Give them specific things to listen for or do. Solicit and incorporate their best, most appropriate, creative ideas; give the students some ownership of the listening experience, within specific parameters.

  2. Do not talk over the music; resist this temptation. Allow students to focus fully on the listening. Whenever asking questions or pointing out something in the music, pause the recording.

  3. Model "listening behavior" for students. Use non-verbal cues or instrument cues that are not used in the recording (perhaps a hand drum, triangle, or finger cymbals) when needed.

  4. Use the best-quality audio playback equipment for the most excellent recordings available to you. When playing our free online Naxos audio files (or another recording of the same musical work) for the students, do not just play the recording from a computer without quality playback that is the equivalent to at least a large ‘boombox’ or small stereo with external speakers. These must be capable of hearing clearly a wide range of volume from very soft to very loud without distortion.*

  5. Consider re-using listening materials with their respective recordings in a listening center or station in your classroom, with 2–6 individual headphones or ear buds connected to the same playback source. This will encourage children to be "independent listeners." For very young children, put a red coding dot on the "STOP" button and a green coding dot on the "PLAY" button in a listening center.

  6. Encourage children to describe or evaluate music in musical terms, and to be respectful listeners.

  7. Break large works into small portions by only listening to a section at a time or a movement at a time. When moving to music, break class into smaller groups for each to have a turn at moving while others watch during sections of a longer work. (Give the Watchers something to evaluate.) Rotate instrument players, movers, or watchers on subsequent hearings of the selection, or pause the recording to switch and take turns.

  8. Remember this adage: "ADD TO the music that is already valued by a child."

  9. Take advantage of reasons to listen to a selection again and again, making the music more familiar - because we "like what we know" inasmuch as we "know what we like."

    *Our society is used to very high quality sound reproduction available commercially everywhere – so we must provide that in our music classroom! (If this is not currently available to you for budget reasons, consider asking your parent–teacher organization or school’s student council to purchase this for your classroom. It is something every student in your school will benefit from. Some teachers purchase their own.)
Music

Tips & Advice

While many children want to learn about classical music and perhaps how to play an instrument, parents often have many questions as to the best way to go about helping their youngster make the best choice of instrument, select a teacher and learn to practice properly. The information in this section provides some helpful guidance in these areas.

How Can I Interest My Child in Classical Music?
Children can gain enormously through the study of classical music, from learning to think creatively to imagining solutions to complex problems.

Selecting an Instrument
Find that one instrument whose sound thrills your child, but remember the size of your car's trunk!

Choosing a Music Teacher
What to look for and which questions to ask any potential music teacher. Practicing Tips Tips for creating a successful practice environment for musicians and parents.

Guided Listening Teaching Tips
A few helpful hints from Dr. Kay Edwards, Miami University

Soothing Music for Your Young Child
Try playing some of these classical favorites at naptime or bedtime.

Girl Scouts of America Junior Badge: "Making Music"
Classics for Kids® can help fulfill several of the requirements for this badge.


Guided Listening Teaching Tips: Dr. Kay Edwards, Miami University

A Few Helpful Hints:

  1. Keep the listening experience an active one; involve the students in a variety of ways that encourage and provide multiple hearings. Give them specific things to listen for or do. Solicit and incorporate their best, most appropriate, creative ideas; give the students some ownership of the listening experience, within specific parameters.

  2. Do not talk over the music; resist this temptation. Allow students to focus fully on the listening. Whenever asking questions or pointing out something in the music, pause the recording.

  3. Model "listening behavior" for students. Use non-verbal cues or instrument cues that are not used in the recording (perhaps a hand drum, triangle, or finger cymbals) when needed.

  4. Use the best-quality audio playback equipment for the most excellent recordings available to you. When playing our free online Naxos audio files (or another recording of the same musical work) for the students, do not just play the recording from a computer without quality playback that is the equivalent to at least a large ‘boombox’ or small stereo with external speakers. These must be capable of hearing clearly a wide range of volume from very soft to very loud without distortion.*

  5. Consider re-using listening materials with their respective recordings in a listening center or station in your classroom, with 2–6 individual headphones or ear buds connected to the same playback source. This will encourage children to be "independent listeners." For very young children, put a red coding dot on the "STOP" button and a green coding dot on the "PLAY" button in a listening center.

  6. Encourage children to describe or evaluate music in musical terms, and to be respectful listeners.

  7. Break large works into small portions by only listening to a section at a time or a movement at a time. When moving to music, break class into smaller groups for each to have a turn at moving while others watch during sections of a longer work. (Give the Watchers something to evaluate.) Rotate instrument players, movers, or watchers on subsequent hearings of the selection, or pause the recording to switch and take turns.

  8. Remember this adage: "ADD TO the music that is already valued by a child."

  9. Take advantage of reasons to listen to a selection again and again, making the music more familiar - because we "like what we know" inasmuch as we "know what we like."

    *Our society is used to very high quality sound reproduction available commercially everywhere – so we must provide that in our music classroom! (If this is not currently available to you for budget reasons, consider asking your parent–teacher organization or school’s student council to purchase this for your classroom. It is something every student in your school will benefit from. Some teachers purchase their own.)

 

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