The best way for children to learn at a young age is by making learning fun! Listening, dancing, and moving around to music are great ways to do that. Kids love to use their bodies to express themselves. At kindyRock, we like to combine dance and musical instruments for the best learning and fun possible.
Which musical instruments are suitable for children?
Of course, we’re not talking about teaching toddlers to play the tenor sax; we can choose musical instruments that are appropriate for the child’s age. Simple instruments like shakers, rattles, drums or even random kitchen utensils (watch this video!) can be used as musical learning tools for toddlers or preschoolers.
Let’s talk about the benefits simple musical instruments can have for your children’s development!
#1: Instruments Introduce Children to Different Aspects of Music
It can seem complicated to teach kids how to play music. When introducing instruments into musical activities, it can help them grasp different aspects of music.
Show them how to move their musical instruments to the beat of the music: ask them to shake the instrument faster or slower. Let them change the volume: play music with a softer tone or slower beat that they will have to match with their instruments. Or play upbeat, interactive songs – so the child can pump up the volume.
#2: Musical Instruments Help Develop Fine Motor Skills
It is essential for kids to develop fine motor skills in their first years of life. While action songs can help kids learn and understand body movement, adding in musical instruments takes it to the next level.
Kids use their fingers and thumbs to grab onto the musical instruments. Not all of the instruments are the same shape, so they’ll learn different ways to hold onto the instruments, as well as working those different hand muscles.
Fine-tune your motor skills from Stage Music Center can give you even more ideas to help increase children’s motor skills.
#3 Musical Instruments Help Children Learn Math Language
Math language is another important learning skill kids begin to learn early on. Math language is more than just counting: it’s recognizing patterns, and very different concepts like “first”, “next”, size… When kids use musical instruments they can begin to use math terms right along with it.
Help the children develop their language skills by saying “play the instrument high” or “play it low”. Tell them to move their instruments forward or backward. You can also count out the beat with them by saying “1, 2, 3, start!”
After a while, you won’t even have to show them the movements, they will just begin to do them instinctively.
#4 Instruments Help Improve Kids’ Listening Skills
As children grow, they will also start pushing their boundaries – selective hearing or listening is very common in younger kids. They will choose when they want to listen, or not listen at all.
Music can be a great and interactive way to help your kids improve their listening skills.
In order for children to participate in musical games and activities, they’ll need to hear the instructions. The song might ask them to play, move or sing along in a different way; they will only get it right if they prick up their ears! Encourage them to listen so they do not miss anything.
#5 Musical Instruments Develop Kids’ Creativity
Kids love to be creative, and not just with pens and paper. There is a reason children love songs with actions and dancing: they get to use their bodies and be creative with movement.
Instruments add even more opportunities to use their imagination.
Encourage your children to think outside of the box. Let them choose which instrument they want to play and how they want to play it. Kids can explore their resourcefulness by playing loud or soft, fast or slow.
Music is related to creativity in so many ways – read more about how to encourage small children to use their creativity in this article.
#6 Improve Your Child’s Self-Esteem With Instruments
It is the job of teachers, early childhood professionals, and parents to help our children grow a healthy amount of self-esteem. Building confidence starts in early childhood, and music and instruments are great tools to help in its development.
When kids play an instrument, you can teach them that there is no wrong way to play. The more often they use instruments when they’re listening to music, the more comfortable and confident they will get.
With time, children will not only gain more knowledge of the instruments and how to play them, but also increase their self-esteem.
See How to Help Kids Use Instruments
Would you like to see how to practice everything we mentioned above? If so, check out the video below where we explain and show you different ways of using musical instruments in the classroom – or at home.
You’ll find lots of songs to teach children, help them develop new skills, and move to the music on the kindyRock app. Click here to learn more!
Are you a teacher or early childhood educator? Our membership platform for early learning professionals has lots of extra resources to add to our music. Lesson plans, activity ideas, extra trainings and more. To get a sample, check out our free songs with teaching notes on this page!