Music development for young children

By Jade Bultitude
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It has been a hot minute since I posted on my blog! In the time since I have been off we have been so incredibly busy. It seems that as soon as lock down was over everything exploded! I went back to working at my schools and encouraging students to build on their musical abilities, I performed a solo concert at the Dubai Opera house and we also moved continents back to Europe – London specifically! It has definitely been a whirlwind but we are happy to be back and closer to family after having such a crazy year away from them. I have also reduced my work slightly so I can focus on my twins, building mini musicians!

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All children are born musical

The twins absolutely love music and since they were in my tummy I have been obviously playing my flute but also surrounding them with as many different genres of music as I can think of. Since they were born, my husband and I are always singing to them and playing music. Now that I have a little more time on my hands I am going to spend time really trying to build on their natural music ability. 

We currently attend a wonderful class all about instruments of the orchestra at our local music school, Musicale. They both absolutely love it and are fascinated with each instrument that comes into the classroom! What I want to do at home is encourage more singing as well as developing their inner pulse. Building these things now, I believe, helps to not only strengthen them to become musicians as they get older but it can also have great benefits for their all round development – we’re talking about a real brain boost!  

I believe that we are all born musical and when children are young everything you teach them is sucked up like a little sponge! Children often learn very subconsciously and pick things up before you’ve even realised it! The other day my little girl pointed at a cat saying ‘c, c, cat, meow!’ – we don’t even own a cat! It is simply amazing what they can learn. Building mini musicians is perhaps the wrong way to put it, I am actually simply drawing out their natural music ability!  I am always singing with the twins whether it be simple nursery rhymes or humming a favourite tune. They engage with everything we sing and often I use it if one is having a tantrum! Singing immediately calms them down. They have learnt the different parts of their body through song as well as many new words! Music has such a positive and powerful impact on a child’s whole development and you can see this almost immediately! 

Children flourish in all aspects of development when exposed to music

Having taught early years music previously, I have seen young children’s confidence flourish, I have seen language develop, communication skills come alive and even seen children learning to share! Music is also a great way to make connections to the world around us, we recently visited the zoo and we sang ‘we’re going to the zoo zoo zoo!’. Such a simple yet effective song!

We also sung ‘the elephant’. This is to the tune of the mulberry bush!

The elephant goes like this and that, like this and that, this and that (stomp feet!)

The elephant goes like this and that because he’s so big and that’s a fact! (puff cheeks and stretch out arms!)

He has no fingers and has no toes, has no fingers and has no toes (wiggle fingers)

He has no fingers and has no toes but goodness gracious what a nose! (fake elephant trunk!)

As a musician myself I am really keen to develop the twins musical ability. There are many ways to develop children’s inner pulse, learn rhythms and structures, explore different patterns and also to develop a strong ear and sense of pitch! 

Using different methods, each week I will be doing some structured music learning with my twins and I will do my best to document what we are doing on here! If you would like to follow along please do and let me know how you get on! My aim will be to do 10-20 minutes each day of short but effective music activities! 

I will keep you updated on our progress as I begin building mini musicians!

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Jade is a flute player and music educator with a passion for educating the next generation of musicians. She is a Masters Graduate from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Jade has been helping people learn music theory for more than 10 years from pre school children all the way to degree level studies.