Did you know that we are all born musical?
It’s interesting to ask parents two questions:
1. Do you consider yourself musical? (the answer is usually no!)
2. Do you consider your child musical? (the answer is usually YES!
This question tells us a lot about our ideas of Nature versus Nurture. Before the invention of the radio, families would gather together to sing ‘Parlour Songs’. It was usually a way to entertain themselves after dinner or when they had friends over. It didn’t matter if you were ‘talented’, it was just something you did. It was just part of your day.
Music Consumers vs. Music Makers
As the Technological Age has developed and taken over in North America, we have become music ‘consumers’ rather than music ‘makers’. We have decided that music is reserved for the ‘talented’ ones. You are only allowed to sing if you are GOOD at it. This concept is so unfortunate for our culture. Making music together has so many benefits for us, both cognitively and emotionally.
Making music together has for us
Did you know that when you sing to your child, it releases Cortisol in the brain which relieves stress? And did you know that YOUR voice is more capable of achieving this, than someone who is ‘more talented’ than you? Your child doesn’t care! You are their number one. Well- you, and any other person that loves that child and spends a considerable amount of time with them. This is one of the reasons why we always encourage the adults to sing in class! The grownups are usually reluctant to sing for the first couple of classes, but by Week 10, everyone is singing loud and proud
Music allows us to bond as a community.
It brings us closer together.
I am always surprised when a child is drawn to me, because I rarely ‘speak’ to them! I’m always singing to them. And THAT is what draws them in. We are all naturally drawn together when we sing. And given that we are struggling with a massive disconnect in our culture (especially in our youth!), we need to facilitate WAY more bonding and connection with each other.
So why don’t we sing? I’ll tell you why: It’s SCARY! Singing is a way of opening up your heart and letting people in. I think we can all agree that it’s not easy to do that! When I first started teaching, I avoided eye contact with the parents because I was too scared to actually CONNECT with them! What if they judged me? What if they thought my voice was awful? What if my activities are stupid? It’s an incredibly scary position to be in.
When someone judges your singing voice it can silence you for the rest of your life.
Think of your child's brain as a blank canvas.
We are MEANT to make music.
If you want your child to read,
YOU have to read.
If you want your child to eat healthy,
YOU have to eat healthy.
If you want your child to brush their teeth,
YOU have to brush your teeth.
And if you want your baby to sing,
YOU have to sing.
Pamela is the proud owner and director of Music Together® of Orangeville and has had the pleasure of teaching the program since 2014. Pamela is a graduate of the Music Theatre Performance Program at Sheridan College and before entering the parenting world, she was a professional performer, working with Stage West (Vagina Monologues), Drayton Entertainment (Anne of Green Gables, My Fair Lady), Theatre Orangeville (A Christmas Carol), Moonpath Productions (Totally Scrooged), TIFT (Emily), ACT Productions (I Love You You're Perfect Now Change, Tick Tick Boom), Oh Canada Eh? (Rocky Horror) and many others.
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