What do you do with a toddler who loves the music time you have together, but you aren’t a music teacher and you only really have some plastic instruments and a banjo you only have because someone once asked you if you wanted a banjo or a ukelele?
You take them to someone who also loves those things. And is good at it.
This is one of the first experiences I had where I thought to myself, ‘wow, having them interact with people of any age who are just ‘really into things’ has to be far superior to sitting in a classroom with kids because they are the same age.
We’ve been having fun noise parties for four years now. The most excited I’ve ever seen him about a musical instrument was the violin. I thought I would expand our violin knowledge with some lessons over skype. It was a good idea for me as I was able to look over his shoulder and learn what he was learning. It all but destroyed his interest in violin after a few lessons. He didn’t look forward to his lessons. So we stopped those pretty quickly. It took months before he even wanted to play with it again. It’s starting to be fun again, and he is able to do all the things she taught us.
Singing seems to be his favourite now.
Take What They Love – Expand On It
So he liked to make music…and there are way more instruments than we would ever buy (especially considering he can’t even play one yet). When we introduced a MIDI controller to the computer, we expanded to computer and software training while we searched for how to make the saxophone sound…and the french horn sound, etc..
I often to think back to the great idea I had when we were starting to get new kids toys and things; They had to look and operate (give or take) like the proper instrument. No guitar shaped toys with flashing buttons on them that made pre-selected tunes, for example.
We were able to introduce the first kid to instrument care and handling through more delicate instruments after mastering the rule ‘Dad don’t really care where you leave any of your toys, but no instruments on the floor.’. We could not find an appropriate violin toy, so eventually got him a proper one. It was several over $200. We have gotten so much education from it, and it is always placed back in the case and put away safely…Except when the new toddler was essentially just given the fancy violin way younger than she could understand ‘musical instruments are fragile’. We had to replace the bow, and we had several lessons around it including research on horse hair.
^^ For size comparison only!