Music & Movement Benefits: Why and How to Sing to Your Child

Most of us have some songs we can recall from our childhood.  Start singing and the tune and the words will probably come back to you.  And if you’re in a Kindermusik class, you are enjoying a growing repertoire of songs to pull out and sing for almost any occasion!
Why Sing
Singing to a child is a priceless gift.  It doesn’t matter if you feel like your voice is not star quality; to your child, the sound of your voice is the best sound in the whole world.  According to Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine (Dec/Jan 1999), singing with and to your child can:

  • calm when upset, soothe fears, and reduce irritability;
  • enhance a child’s grasp of language and sense of beauty;
  • remind a child that he/she is cherished and loved;
  • improve communication and intimate bonding between parent and child.

How to Sing

  • Bounce your child in your lap and sing a song together.
  • Pick out individual words or groups of words from the song and let your child echo you.  Change your voice, using lots of inflection.
  • Accompany yourselves by tapping wooden or plastic spoons together with a beat.
  • Dance while you sing.
  • Put your own words to a song – whatever fits the occasion or the task at hand.
  • Let a song inspire dress-up and pretend play.

Take the song, “The Muffin Man,” for example.  The words are:
Do you know the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man?
Do you know the muffin man who lives in Drury Lane?
Yes, I know the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man.
Yes, I know the muffin man who lives in Drury Lane.
You can have fun singing, adapting, and playing with this song in many ways.  Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Try inserting another occupation, like “the bakery lady,” “the lawn mower man,” “the fireman,” or “our doctor friend.”
  • Substitute your own street name for Drury Lane.
  • Accompany yourself by tapping a spoon on a muffin pan.
  • Explore the many different kinds of sounds you can make as you tap, rub, or scrape the muffin tin.
  • Create a muffin game.
  • Put on an apron and/or a chef’s hat and then bake some muffins together – or just pretend to do so!
  • Play with the question and answer part of the song.
  • Come up with your own muffin song.

Shared by Theresa Case, who has an award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, SC.

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