All children are musical or have the potential to be musical. Whether you want to spark interest in having a young person perform or motivate them to practice more, the following 3 ways to inspire children to be musical can be just the thing to motivate your child or student.
Each approach centers around a similar theme: Watching and listening to other young people who are excellent musicians.
We know from research that young people can be motivated when they have role models who are close in age to them (Davidson & Burland, 2006; Sosniak, 1990). Having peers or other young people who are close in age can be even more powerful, in terms of motivation and inspiration, than professional stars or idols, who are more distant.
With that in mind, here are 3 fun ways to inspire children musically and creatively:
1) Watch videos of excellent child musicians. Here are a couple to get you started but it’s best to do some searching around YouTube to find more.
Igor Falecki, when he was a five year old percussionist
Isaiah Chevrier, when he was a 5 year old Djembe player.
Michael Lima E Silva, playing electric jazz bass with a jazz band
Honoka and Azita on Ukelele
It can also be great to watch young people who perform together in bands, like the Science Riot Girls, who we featured in a post on Encouraging girls (and all kids) to rock out and creating empowering music!
2) Listen to the radio program From The Top, which features excellent young musicians who are quite amazing. From the Top is more focused on classical music and related instruments. What we love about From the Top is that it includes both performances and interviews with young people. You get a sense of them as real people rather than “idols” or “stars.”
From the Top also creates videos that are designed to be exciting, ranging from a young person performing music while on a skateboard to young people playing popular music on classical instruments. Here’s an example of Umi Garrett when she was 9-years old, playing the piano. Ms. Garrett is now a 15 year-old professional pianist!
3) Go to performances by your local high school and community groups that feature young people. Seriously! When a child sees someone who is close to her or his age performing, it is much easier to relate and see themselves doing the same thing or something similar. Better yet when they might see themselves on the stage some day.
Of course going to professional concerts and watching professionals perform is also great, but we can’t stress enough the importance of providing young children the opportunity to see and hear people closer to their age making music so that they can relate.
Planning on Starting or Supporting a Child Playing An Instrument?
We highly recommend the book Raising Musical Kids: A Guide for Parents by Dr. Robert Cuttieta.
What inspires your children or students to be musical?
Works Cited [with affiliate links]
Davidson, J. W., & Burland, K. (2006). Musician identity formation. In G. E. McPherson (Ed.), The child as musician: A handbook of musical development (pp. 475-490). New York: Oxford University Press.