Building Young Children’s Listening Skills with Music
We all know listening is an important skill in school and as an adult, but parents can start teaching well before a child begins to speak. Here are some ways to help children engage with sounds that will begin to build their listening skills, and ultimately their language skills. Singing lullabies, while cuddling and rocking rhythmically with your child, will make him or her familiar with your voice and the rhythm of your language. As your child grows older, don’t stop singing! You can use more challenging words and tunes to teach them about pronunciation and grammar. To help your child learn the basics of language you should also talk with him or her, and use child-directed speech.
Listening is the first step to understanding. Encourage your child to listen to and imitate sounds. Once you’ve both heard a sound, like a dog’s bark, then, use your own voice to imitate the sound. Your child might try to imitate the dog’s bark as well. Once you’ve introduced your child to musical speech and sounds, then you might want to incorporate those sounds with music. You can also help your child to recognize when sounds start and stop with musical games like Musical Chairs or Hot Potato. To find out more about different games and songs used to help children’s listening skills visit http://www.medel.com/blog/child-listening-skills-musical-sounds/. You can also check out these 6 tips to help foster a love for music for more ideas.
Help Me Grow Alabama is a program of the Alabama Partnership for Children as an affiliate of the Help Me Grow National Network.
Help Me Grow Alabama is funded by the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education through the Preschool Development Grant, the Alabama Department of Human Resources, and the Alabama Department of Mental Health through a Project LAUNCH Grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association.
Help Me Grow Alabama partners with 2-1-1 Connects Alabama for implementation in nine regions of the state.