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Music Has a Beat!

Getting into the rhythm with your young musician

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
November 2013

"Now it's time for music, music, music . . . we'll have lots of fun!"

This song begins every facilitated program in The Music Studio in Playscape at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, and it's very true – music is fun. It also plays a powerful role in the lives of young children. There is a musician in every child. Adults who intentionally infuse music into children's lives are nurturing powerful learning connections. The Music Studio in Playscape will provide a chance for you and your child to be musicians together as you explore rhythm, tone and movement using real musical instruments.

While in the Studio, observe your child as s/he experiments with the instruments and discovers the source of sounds. Encourage critical thinking about the instruments. See if your child can identify high tones and low tones, fast tempo or slow tempo. This will help your child develop an understanding of musical concepts and musical vocabulary.

Helping your child understand that music has a beat is something you can also do at home. Experiment with making sounds and creating rhythms not only with musical instruments but with everyday household objects. Any household items that make sounds, such as pans, lids, chopsticks, keys, containers of breath mints, pairs of wooden spoons, etc. all make excellent "instruments."

Begin by playing a selection of music that has a strong beat ("The Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Phillip Sousa is a good choice.) Demonstrate the beat by patting your hands on your legs. This will help your child hear that the music has a steady beat. Ask your child to join in with you. Tap different parts of your body (shoulders, toes, head, ears, etc.). Then bring out your household "instruments" and enjoy playing together, trying to keep the same rhythm. Talk about the beat or rhythm as you play, and most of all . . . have fun!

Tags: Around Town, In This Issue, Preschool

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