As a parent I know what it’s like to want the best for your kids. We all want them to have better advantages than we had, right? However in this world of helicopter parents and social media mom shaming it’s always been a priority of mine to find a balance. To prioritize what is most important for their growth and development is something that happens daily. Let’s face it, I’m not perfect but I try to make wise decisions for them whether it’s watching Super Why or digging around in the backyard. Which is why I was pleasantly surprised to find out about a study done in Australia which concluded that making music with your kids at home is better for their brain development than reading to them. Don’t get me wrong. I love reading to my kids. We have tons of books and my three year old has almost all of them memorized. However, it is no surprise to me that this is a possibility. I see it everyday in my kids and my students. Music has a profound impact in itty bitty human lives. And it’s not just in band, choir or dance class either. Diverse and frequent musical exposure has been linked to higher IQ, SAT scores, better socialization and even balanced mood (Thank God! I can’t imagine my little tantrum maker without music!).
Basically, making music with your kids bleeds into every fiber of their lives. It just makes everything better. Which is great news for me. I’m a musician! So is my husband! Actually, I grew up in a musical family. My mom plays piano, dad sings tenor, grandpa played harmonica, my uncle played guitar and banjo. Heck, even my grandma whistled. And that’s just one side of the family.
But what about the folks who are tone deaf? Those people who don’t dare sing in the car unless the radio is blasting? How are they supposed to jam with their kids? That’s where Music Together comes in. This “Mommy and Me” class is designed for kids 0-5 years old. This precious finite time in a child’s life is when they develop their musical aptitude, their potential for music learning. So it’s the foundation for those ballet classes Katie will take when she’s 6 and the drumming lessons Ron will take when he’s 10.
My favorite thing about this class is it lets kids play and learn music naturally while giving parents the confidence and tools they need to be musical at home. I often tell parents that I “geek out” about teaching this class because it is so darn smart all the while disguised as a fun (sometimes all out goofy) 45 minute class. These classes are taking place all over the world! This, in turn, makes our kids, our families, our communities and our world better. It blows my mind often when I think about how something so fun can be so life changing and I see the change daily in my classes. More importantly, I see the change in my kids. So take the time to learn how to make music with your kids. Because it doesn’t matter if you have perfect pitch or can shred a wicked guitar solo. The point is to just jam with your kids like you are the greatest thing to hit the scene since the Beatles. Just rock on, parents. Rock on.
Music Together – Global locations
Kim Setser got her lifelong musical education from her family, church and Wichita State University. She is a certified Music Together teacher. She is also a former occupational therapist for children with autism, working with various programs that included musical and sensory therapies. Kim Setser is a mother of two and resides in sunny Cape Coral, Florida.