Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Music for Children

We love music - listening to it and playing it. I started playing the clarinet in the 6th grade and played it through high school. I also picked up the alto sax in high school. I can play tunes on the guitar and mandolin but never learned the chords. (That's one of the many things I'd like to do.) Hubby plays guitar (chords and melodies) and took some piano lessons. We used to play guitar and mandolin together quite frequently...before kids. Kids seem to take up a lot of time! And it's hard to play when a 2-year-old is plunking on the strings. Hopefully we'll be able to play more as the kids get older.

Olivia and Jesse like listening to music and playing around on the keyboard. Lately Olivia has shown an interest in reading music and picking out tunes. I've been helping her with the notes - we've been talking about their names, where they are on the keyboard, and how many counts they get. I plan to include music in our homeschooling. I want to study music not only for its own sake, but it will help her with math. Whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes = fractions! Music and math are closely related. Scales follow a pattern of whole steps and half steps. Chords are also mathematical. It's not uncommon for people who do well in math to do well in music and vice versa.

I've been trying to expose Olivia (and Jesse, too, when appropriate) to a variety of music. Olivia has been to Phantom of the Opera (Dallas), Riverdance (Orange), Lord of the Dance (Tyler), Oliver (community theater), The Little Mermaid (university theater), and others. Both kids have been to programs the library sponsored that featured bluegrass, harp, and opera. We have plans to take them to Beauty and the Beast (university theater).

You might check with your local university or college and see what they have to offer. They probably have child-friendly performances. They may also offer Kindermusik or music lessons. If you're not in the Nacogdoches area, these sites will give you an idea of what you may find in your area.

Below are a few websites I found this week that I plan to use when working with Olivia. Although my husband and I have lots of sheet music, not all of it is suitable for beginners. These sites offer a variety of music - from quarter and half notes in the key of C to more complicated pieces.

Blank Sheet Music Print blank sheet music. You can add treble clef, bass clef, time signature, and key signature.

Music Tech Teacher Lots of things to print, including treble and bass notes and ledger lines on the staff, sharps, flats, major scales, rhythms and rests.

8Notes Free sheet music of varying degrees of difficulty and for a variety of instruments.

Take a Piano Sheet Music Break Free piano music of varying degrees of difficulty, as well as lessons.

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