Selecting Music for Children
When they are around three years old, most children begin to take a real interest in music activities of all kinds. It is a good time for parents and teachers to begin mixing music with games that require body movement, such as clapping, waving, jumping and dancing. Sing-along games are ideal for initiating movement and bringing children together in enjoyable group activities.
Children age four and five are more consistent music-makers and also are more aware of the messages in song lyrics. Children at this age are ready to sit attentively for a short performance or to listen to a short recording. Complementing the education given at school with music that teaches important lessons is recommended for this age group. Appropriate activities also include lessons in music appreciation, playing instruments and learning to write lyrics to simple melodies.
Children age six to ten can start learning that music has structure. Rhymes, repetition and experimenting with different sounds also can be used for speech and reading development. This is the ideal time to actively teach a child a musical instrument or expose them to choral groups. Research has indicated that children at this age will start showing the positive effects of music training in their academic performance.