7 Benefits of Singing at Home: How to Encourage Your Child to Sing
Are you looking for a fun and meaningful way to engage your children at home? Look no further than singing! Not only is it a fun and expressive activity for all ages, but it also offers numerous benefits for your children’s mental and physical health. With increased screen time and exposure to stressors, singing can provide a much-needed break and bring joy to your children’s lives while developing new skills at the same time. Plus, studies show that singing can even increase dopamine levels in the brain, leading to feelings of joy and motivation. In this blog, we will explore how singing can positively impact your child’s development and the steps you can take to introduce and encourage singing throughout their lives.
1. Singing promotes unity and family togetherness
Singing together as a family is a fantastic way to connect and enjoy each other’s company. Whether you’re belting out tunes during a car ride, harmonizing in the kitchen while cooking, or gathering around a campfire on vacation, singing can help bring families closer and create cherished memories. In addition, working together to create family harmonies requires teamwork, self-discipline, timing, patience, and ear training, and may even inspire members to learn a musical instrument in addition to their voice.
2. Singing helps to develop a sense of identity among siblings and other family members
In addition to cultivating unity and vocal skills when singing as a group, learning to express oneself as an individual is a way for siblings and family members to establish their own unique style and identity. By exploring different genres of music, children can cultivate their own style and individuality. Ultimately, this can encourage personal growth, self-expression, and artistic creativity.
3. Singing helps to develop the ability to communicate and express emotions
Expressing oneself through singing is one of the most effective ways for children to channel their emotions. It is essential for their growth to find safe and healing ways to communicate how they feel and to interpret the feelings of others. The arts can play a wonderful role in this regard. Singing, among other forms of artistic expression such as drawing, painting, dancing, acting, or imaginative play, can provide children with countless ways to express their innermost feelings, even when faced with difficult circumstances.
4. Singing improves self-esteem
Singing can be a confidence-boosting activity for children, as it allows them to showcase their talents and abilities. As their skills improve, their self-esteem and self-worth grow along with it. Children can also learn to appreciate their own unique voice and style, which is an important lesson in self-acceptance.
5. Singing helps improve articulation
The process of singing involves tremendous coordination of the articulators (lip, jaw, and tongue muscles) which can enhance children’s language and speech abilities. Singing regularly can aid children in refining their pronunciation and enunciation, leading to improved communication skills in their daily lives.
6. Singing is a great way to develop math skills and memorization
Singing involves the use of counting, rhythm, and timing. These elements aid in the development of mathematical and language skills among children, including pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and fluency. Additionally, memorizing songs can serve as a valuable tool in developing children’s memory and retention abilities. Parents can incorporate this into their children’s routine by encouraging them to sing multiplication tables, nursery rhymes, and even scripture.
7. Singing is a great use of time away from electronics
In today’s world where electronic screens are prevalent, singing can be a screen-free activity that can help children develop a skill that boosts their creativity with a positive impact on their mental and physical health. Of course, one might use a karaoke track on YouTube or take an online singing course that requires the use of electronic devices, but they are being used in a more healthy and constructive way. Singing and playing instruments require focus and cognitive processing, making it an excellent way to improve attention and concentration skills.
Now, all of this might sound great. But how can you get your children to start singing? Glad you asked, because we have a few tips for you.
How to Encourage Your Child to Sing at Home
Regardless of your child’s age or particular interest in singing, it’s important for parents to create a safe and accepting environment where children feel comfortable expressing themselves through music. Singing just happens to be the most intimate, unique, and personal of all the instruments available in the world! By showing enthusiasm for singing and allowing for mistakes when trying, parents can foster a love for music and help to build confidence in self-expression. Here are some specific activities you can explore with your child:
- LEAD BY EXAMPLE
There’s no better way to cultivate family values, beliefs, and behaviors than to lead by example! To make signing a natural part of a daily routine, start when your children are young by singing nursery rhymes and other songs during playtime, bath time, and bedtime. It’s okay if you are not a highly skilled singer and make mistakes such as forgetting lyrics and singing the wrong notes. You too will improve as you explore your vice! As your kids get older, continue to lead by example by having music playing and singing along when doing chores, making dinner, or getting ready for the day. Encourage your children to sing with you and praise them for their efforts regardless of how it sounds at first. The voice is the most personal of instruments, so it’s important that you do not give negative criticism. Instead, support their desire to express themselves! Like any other physical activity, such as learning to walk and draw, they will improve over time. Positive reinforcement will motivate them to keep trying and improving.
- PLAN FUN ACTIVITIES
Consider organizing a family karaoke night (or play carpool karaoke on long family trips!) and extend an invitation to your child’s friends to join in. You can also explore several fun singing games, like Song Association, which is bound to inspire excitement, laughter, and smiles! Be sure to empower your child by letting them lead the way in song selection and creating their musical routines. This approach will help them feel a sense of ownership and motivate them to explore their musical passions.
- PROVIDE RESOURCES
Provide your children with a variety of resources to explore and improve their voice such as songbooks, vocal exercises & warmups, a small PA system (microphone and speakers), and create family playlists to discover and appreciate what everyone is listening to. It is also highly recommended to have an instrument, such as a guitar or piano/keyboard, conveniently located in the family room to encourage musical interaction and songwriting. Let singing and music be “normal” throughout the home.
- GO ON MUSICAL FIELD TRIPS
Another way to encourage children and teens to sing is to expose them to live performances. This could involve attending shows by a nearby band that plays at a restaurant, a school play or musical, or even purchasing tickets for a touring artist that both you and your children enjoy. Going to see a variety of different musical styles and types of live performances is a great way to discover new music and bond as a family. The excitement and energy from these experiences will continue to inspire creativity and vocal exploration within themselves.
- GET VOICE LESSONS
If your child is displaying a particular interest in singing, you could cultivate it further by enrolling them in private singing lessons or by taking an online singing course. Don’t stress about whether or not your child intends to pursue singing as a career. Singing doesn’t mean having to become a superstar. It’s more about developing another skill for personal growth and enjoyment, similar to learning a musical instrument, a new language, or a sport, which can contribute to a more fulfilling life and a healthier mind and body.
- CONNECT WITH OTHER SINGERS
If your child is showing a growing interest in music and wants to connect with others through it, you can help them to find opportunities to stretch their vocal wings in your community. Children’s choirs offered at school, church, or other community organizations can provide a supportive environment for their musical development. Auditioning for a local musical theater production can also be an excellent opportunity for growth, not just for lead performers, but also for ensemble members who still get to sing and dance.
- PERFORM OFTEN
Encourage your child’s interest in performing by seeking out opportunities for them to showcase their skills in front of others. Look into local singing competitions, talent shows, or even small gigs at cafes. Family events such as weddings and reunions can also provide a chance for them to perform. If that sounds like too much, consider planning mini-concerts throughout the year for just a few friends and family members to perform for in the family room or on the back patio. With your support, your child’s confidence will continue to blossom!
In conclusion, singing offers numerous benefits for children’s mental and physical health while being a fun and expressive activity for all ages. It can bring families closer and create cherished memories while developing new skills such as teamwork, self-discipline, timing, patience, ear training, and communication. Singing regularly can also improve self-esteem and inspire creativity. Taking extra steps to nurture and support your child’s voice at home while they are young, will help create a more well-rounded and confident adult in the years to come.
Richard Fink IV, Kerri Hardwick, Anita G Houser, Brigitte Krahn, Anna Rizzo-Tassone, and Jorge Sánchez