For many of us, our musical journey begins in the family home. Be it singing, clapping, shaking or rattling, music making has been proven to be one of the best ways for parents and young children to bond. The impact of early years music making can also have a profound effect on our early development, helping to ‘wire’ children’s brains ready for more advanced learning.
At London Music Masters we see first hand the benefits of early years music making on a regular basis. As part of our music education work in London primary schools, we deliver regular musicianship lessons to our Reception-age pupils. Incorporating singing, clapping, fun games and playing percussion instruments, musicianship is designed to give every child the best possible musical start, preparing them to eventually move on to learning an instrument.
While the benefits of early years music making are undeniable, for some parents it presents a challenge. Over our time delivering early years musicianship, we’ve heard from many parents that they just don’t feel confident making music with their children at home. Whether due to a lack of formal musical training, self-consciousness, or quite simply not knowing where to start, parents can understandably feel overwhelmed at the thought of having to improvise musical activities.
London Music Masters’ Youth Music project tackles this issue by bridging the gap between in-school and at-home early years learning. With an eye on supporting parents, the LMM Learning team have worked with our fantastic musicianship teachers to plan and film a suite of videos, incorporating songs, games and techniques from our musicianship lessons. Freely available, the videos are designed to empower parents so that they feel comfortable practising basic musicianship at home with their children.
We asked Katrina Damigos, London Music Masters’ Teachers and Training Manager, about her experience of planning and creating the videos.
What was the inspiration for making the videos?
We wanted to make musicianship part of daily life not just something which happens at school. We wanted to create short, simple videos which could communicate our core musicianship activities to children or teachers and parents in the home, classroom or on the go!
What did you include in the videos?
We filmed popular songs and activities which children on our existing programme are familiar with but also more challenging versions of the exercises so children have something to work towards or older children can enjoy having a go at.
Did anything come up while planning or filming the videos that surprised you?
Lots of laughter and many takes! Our two expert teachers provided much entertainment when delivering activities together, they usually work alone so having the two of them together in front of the camera was double the fun and added a new dimension to the activities. The sense of playfulness and teamwork between the teachers communicates the collaborative and social elements we feel are central to musicianship’s value.
What do you hope the videos will achieve?
We hope it will inspire children to make music at all times of the day, in their play, at dinner time, at their friends and families homes –anywhere! We hope our teachers demonstrate how music can be delivered in fun, informal and accessible ways and hope parents and teachers can gain confidence in seeing how this can be achieved.