Keep it simple! Facilitating joyful and uncomplicated musical activities will enrich children’s time at home. Parents and teachers can implement these easy, effective, and low-tech ideas with participants of all ages and diverse levels of musical experience. Create a whole-family musical experience using any of the activities listed below:
- Go outside for a “listening” walk and make a list of everything you hear.
- Sing your favorite song, alone or in a group.
- In a group of two or more, see how many times you can sing a favorite round.
- Create a 4-beat body percussion pattern and teach it to someone. Can you both do it to the beat of a song?
- Play the steady beat as you sing a favorite song. (Clap, pat, or use household items to create the beat.)
- Play the rhythm of the words as you sing the melody of a favorite song. (Clap, pat, or use household items to create the rhythm.)
- Ask a friend or family member to teach you their favorite song.
- Pick a familiar tune and create new words to a song, describing your day at home.
- Create a dance to your favorite song.
- Make musical instruments out of household items.
- Invent and draw a new musical instrument. To which instrument family would it belong?
- Listen to a piece of music. Pay attention to how the music makes you feel. Draw your feelings. Listen again. What comes to mind when you listen? Write down your response, including memories that are associated with this music. Imagine this music was playing in a movie: write down or draw a picture of what might be happening.
- Write down the lyrics to your favorite song, including the chorus. Underline any repeated words or phrases in the song. Underline four other words. Sing the song and make a sound (clap, pat, or play an instrument) with the underlined words as you sing.
- Perform a song four ways: whisper, speak, hum, sing.
- Say a nursery rhyme while tapping the beat.
- Have a singing conversation. Instead of speaking, students or family members can sing normal sentences with others or create a two-sided conversation between toys, stuffed animals, or imaginary friends.
- Create pictures out of musical notation symbols.
- Pick a favorite story or book. Figure out how to represent the characters and setting using sounds (voice/things found around the house/body percussion.) Assign each character a different sound. Using only those sounds, tell the entire story. Different individuals could make the sounds for various characters.
Written by Jennifer Purdy and Emily Soderborg, music educators and members of the BYU ARTS Partnership Leadership Team. Find more resources at Music Home | AdvancingArtsLeadership.com