Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Music Plan...

I have been thinking that I want to start teaching Ellie music. She's only just barely two, but she is very interested in music, and has recently taken to spending time at the piano, playing and singing happily. I want to foster this love of music in her and have years of music background myself, so I figured now might be a good time to start the music program.

But what IS the music program for a 2 year old?

I don't know. I'm sort of making mine up as I go. So far the music program has consisted of sitting at the piano with my daughter and having her tell me what songs she wants me to play. I play. She sings. And she "plays" the high keys along with me. She really enjoys it. She likes the guitar, too. She strums it (in tune or not!) or I finger the chords and she strums and we sing. I need to learn some kid songs, though, before we do too much more of it. Singing is more fun when she knows the songs. =D

Somewhat at a loss for where to go from there, I decided to sign Eliana up for the fall session of Kindermusik this year. The program is designed to introduce 18mo-3yo kids to music and instruments. The program and instructor come highly recommended from a friend of mine, and I'm looking forward to doing this on Musical Mondays. I'm hoping to pick up after the session with my own instruction, and think this will be the perfect way to jumpstart our formal(ish) music program.

Today I had a few moments to walk around while Leif and Ellie were in Costco, so I stopped in Eckroth Music. It's the first music store I've been in for years. Literally. I'm pretty sure I haven't been in a music store since we moved to MT, and that was 5 years ago. So I walked around and looked around and found a couple things I'm excited about using with Ellie as we practice music together. The first is something I was planning on making, but am happy to find someone else has made for less than $5! They're music note flashcards. For some reason I really really want her to learn to read music early on instead of learning how to play by ear or by memory before she can read music or knows what notes are. And since she's in shape-matching and flashcard loving land right now, I figure this might be a fun way to start. Here's what I got:

Some of the flashcards are definitely too advanced for her, but the basic ones (starter notes like middle C and those surrounding) I can certainly introduce her to now. I also got a piano book, designed for ages 4 and up beginning piano students. It's called Piano Party by the Bastiens.

I love this book already. It starts by teaching kids right and left hands (which Ellie already knows, so we're good there!) and numbers 1-5 and high and low and stuff like that. And the workbook pages are very little kid friendly, plus it includes teacher notes in the back with the tunes for little memory aid songs, rhythm clapping songs, accompaniment pieces to add to what they play... all that fun stuff! The activity pages look like this:

So that's my plan. Kindermusik, and starting in on the book and the flashcards. Who knows... it may take Eliana 3 years to go through the book. But it seems to me that this is a good way to start, so I'm going to try it.

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