Your 5 1/4-year-old: Music appreciation

Your 5 1/4-year-old: Music appreciation

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Your 5-year-old now

Want to raise a music lover? There are lots of ways to bring music into his life. Whether you hope your child will take after you playing an instrument or simply want him to be able to appreciate the joy of music, try these ideas:

  • Play music at home and in the car. It doesn't have to be kiddie tunes, either. Expose your child to a range of musical styles, from classics and jazz to reggae and rock.
  • Sing nursery rhymes and other simple songs, like "The Farmer in the Dell" or "America the Beautiful." Encourage your child to join you on the chorus of songs that become familiar. It doesn't matter whether you have a great voice.
  • Look into children's music programs, such as Kindermusik (designed for kids up to age 7) or a child's choir at church or in the community.
  • Bring your child to concerts. Look for child-oriented programs, which many orchestras and arts groups provide. The programs are shorter and tend to feature peppier tunes and a variety of instruments to capture kids' interest.
  • Provide musical toys. Drum sets, tambourines, and harmonicas expose kids to making music in fun ways.
  • Move to the beat. March as you play, or have a family dance party in your living room.

Your life now

The Golden Rule teaches us to treat others the way we want to be treated. When your child says or does something hurtful to a friend, ask him to imagine how it would feel if his friend did the same to him. Five-year-olds are able to walk in another's shoes and thus can learn about the pain of others. It's a small lesson in empathy, but one that can last a lifetime.

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