Hi, Music Time Kids!

Music Time Kids

Looking good! You are ready to return to the verification page and complete the process.

Go To Board

Happy Pinning!

©2019 Pinterest, Inc.| All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions

Are Reading Based Piano Lessons Good for Preschoolers?

I have spent years watching preschool piano materials emerge to the forefront of piano teaching.  Having taught from every single early beginner method,  I have one thing to say.  No matter how cute and colorful the pages are, preschool piano methods emphasize note reading. So are reading based piano lessons good for preschoolers?

I believe the answer lies in the teacher (or parent).  If a teacher understands preschool ability, they can craft the piano lesson for success.  But sadly, many people teaching preschool piano do not understand that preschool piano lessons should look radically different than 9 or 10 year old beginner lessons.  Many teachers only teach out of the book which is flat and 2 dimensional.  Preschool children are creative and need more 3-D experiences along with their lesson book.  Preschoolers learn best by moving. They also want to play songs they already know.

Are piano lessons worth it?

I am a big believer that children learn best through play.  And while you can follow the outline of a book, there should be lots and lots of other activities that reinforce what is being taught in the book, laying the foundation for future concepts being taught in the book. Reading based piano lessons ARE good if they include:

  • Movement Music: clapping, stepping, hopping, etc
  • Playing instruments
  • Learning to keep a steady beat
  • Games teaching right hand and left hand
  • Creative play at the piano (i.e. making bird sounds, elephant walking sounds, etc)
  • Learning basic rhythm patterns
  • Soft and loud sounds
  • Finger identification
  • Finger and hand strengthening
  • Activities that strengthen fine motor skills
  • Learning keyboard geography
  • Use of materials that de-emphasize success by completing a book
  • Singing and matching pitches
  • Counting
  • Pattern play
  • Learning the music alphabet
  • Learning songs using the alphabet letters
  • Learning songs by watching someone else play the piano
  • Playing games away from the piano bench

Should my child take piano lessons?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if parents and teachers actually acknowledged that learning and enjoying piano playing doesn’t have to fit in a one-size-fits-all mold and that preschoolers are learning without homework and formal lessons. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if preschoolers could play more and practice as their interest allows?

There is fear in the piano teaching world that parents will realize they can teach from the lesson book themselves.  This is true. 

I am a huge fan of parents teaching preschool piano to their own child for many reasons. Here are 10 ways parents can get your child ready for piano lessons.  But the top reason for this belief is that when a parent isn’t paying for piano lessons, there is less pressure on the preschooler.  The child can learn music concepts creatively, naturally explore the piano, play games, and just enjoy making music. 

When parents pay for lessons, they feel children must practice at home practice like older students do. This is where the piano experience begins to melt down for preschoolers. Really! Preschoolers can take soccer lessons, gymnastics, swimming, and other types of lessons without a requirement of daily practice. Is there value in the lesson itself? Children DO learn in the piano lesson. So why do teachers and parents expect a requirement of daily practice with preschool piano lessons?

Are reading-based piano methods good for preschoolers?

Are reading based piano lessons good for preschoolers?  It depends.  It depends on parents and teachers meeting the needs of the child and allowing children the freedom to enjoy making music at the piano with fun activities and lots of reinforcement of concepts that don’t demand mastery.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if parents and teachers actually acknowledged that learning piano doesn’t have to fit in a one-size-fits-all mold and that preschoolers can learn without formal lessons and practice requirements. Not all children are ready to read in preschool. Using reading based methods may not be the right fit for every preschool child.

Where can I find Preschool Piano Resources?

Reading Based Piano Lessons

Because I have taught from all the different preschool piano methods, I know where they fall short. As I read Facebook community pages discuss preschool piano, I was frustrated that so many teachers demand that preschoolers learn in the same way that a 10 year old would learn. So I finally decided to create the resources I wish I had when I first began teaching preschool piano.

This includes teaching children to play more songs (especially songs preschoolers know and love), activities, and games. Repetition, repetition, and more repetition is what children love and helps them master the basics.  The topics currently taught in most preschool piano methods are covered, so parents and teachers can overlap, find more supplementary materials, and create a more balanced approach to preschool piano lessons.

I hope this article helps you decide if preschool piano is right for your child, know what to look for in a piano teacher, or helps you feel encouraged to play piano games with your child at home.  Here are links for more information on why I created this blog, what I hope parents will get out of my blog, and top resources for teaching your child piano at home, and piano games you can play with your child.

Christmas Gifts that Prepare Preschoolers for Piano Lessons

Many parents of preschoolers want their child to learn to play a musical instrument. Piano is often thought of as an approachable instrument for young children. This article will list fun, educational toys that make great Christmas Gifts that can help prepare preschoolers for piano lessons. These toys all help develop finger strength, hand strength, and fine motor skills and spark imagination and creativity– which are important in piano playing.

Preschoolers have small hands. Many children don’t have developed strength in their hands and fingers so they are not ready for piano lessons. I am amazed at how quickly a child can develop good hand strength with some of these toys – helping prepare preschoolers for piano lessons.

Links on this page may contain affiliate links which means I may make a small commission if you purchase the item through my website (thank you!) at no additional cost to you.

To play the piano preschoolers have to develop fine motor skills. They can do this in many ways: playing outdoors, playing games, coloring and drawing, playing with play dough, etc.

The educational resources below all help develop the fingers and hands of preschoolers in ways that benefit the budding piano player. Best of all, children will have so much fun, they won’t even know that these activities will help them learn to play the piano.

If you discover your child is frustrated by working on fine motor skills, check out my blog post, 15 Toddler Music and Movement Songs. These songs encourage gross motor skills which include large movements like marching, hopping, twisting, clapping. Children love to play musical instruments along with these songs.

Toys That Build Fine Motor Skills

In subsequent blog posts I will be demonstrating how you can use these resources to help your child build fine motor skills and prepare for piano playing.

Sign up for my mailing list! I am offering a free game you can play with your child! “Piano Race Game” is THE game I teach every beginning piano student, and kids ask to play this game over and over. Kids select their favorite tiny little moving pieces (like legos or mini-erasers) and then take turns drawing music alphabet cards that send them racing across the piano keyboard. The moving pieces and small alphabet cards help build fine motor skills as the child draws cards and moves their piece to the next key. Best of all, they are also learning the music alphabet on the piano! Your child will love this game!

Leave me a comment if you have other fun games that your preschooler enjoys that help build fine motor skills. I’d love to add them to the list!

Get My First Preschool Piano Game for free!

Do you want your child to learn preschool piano?

This is the first game I play with every one of my students. Now you can play at home!

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Best Musical Instrument Sets for Toddlers

    Babies and toddlers put EVERYTHING in their mouths. Because so many toys come from China, toy safety is always a concern. One of my goals in creating this website is to share what I have learned from teaching babies, toddlers, and young children. Below I will share my favorite musical instrument sets for toddlers that are safe for children under age 3 years old. There are many quality brands that are tested and trusted by parents. Please shy away from the best “deal” on Amazon as those toys are often knock-offs and not safe for young children.

    The musical instrument sets below have been used in my early childhood music classes so I can personally attest that they are high quality. Children develop gross and fine motor skills at an individual rate, so abilities will vary in the first three years of growth. Please use your best judgement as to the age appropriateness of each musical set.

    What musical instrument can a baby play?

    Babies are becoming aware of their surroundings. Soft toys are perfect beginning musical toys. Also, toys that make a soft sound are ideal as loud sounding instruments can startle babies. I especially love small, light toys that can velcro to baby’s ankles or wrists so that the child can move and create the sound on their own. All baby toys should be washable.

    What musical instrument can a one year old play?

    One year olds can grasp and hold onto small items, but they are still developing the gross motor skills to play musical instruments. Shaker instruments like eggs and maracas are perfect beginning instruments for this age and you can see the delight on a child’s face as they make sounds with their instrument. Of course babies are equally happy to drop or throw their instrument to create a sound.

    What musical instrument can a two year old play?

    Two year olds are beginning to develop some fine motor skills for playing instruments. They still put everything in their mouths, so it is best to have child-friendly age appropriate instruments that are easy to clean. Two year olds love to play drums and xylophones and are very interested in many other percussion instruments. I also have another blog post about my favorite 20 musical instruments for preschoolers. Many of these individual music instruments would also be appropriate for toddlers. You can check out that blog post here.

    Quality toddler musical instrument sets

    The musical instrument sets below are appropriate for babies age 3 months and older. Any of these sets are a great first musical instrument set and appropriate for birthday presents, baby shower gifts, or Christmas presents. Check out 15 of my favorite songs that your toddler can sing, dance and play their musical instruments with here.

    (disclaimer: The links below include affiliate links which means if you purchase an item through these links I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I thank you for your support, as it provides income that supports this blog and helps me be able to create new musical products for parents and children.)

    Hohner Kids Single Tube Shaker

    This set I originally posted here is no longer available, but Hohner is a wonderful brand and I have also used this tube shaker. This link is for only one shaker that is perfect for the younger child.

    Melissa & Doug Band in a Box

    The band in a box is a wooden set and I love that these pieces won’t break. However, the drum head on the tambourine is very thin and was punctured right away. I ended up cutting that drum head off the tambourine and it hasn’t affected the play-ability of shaking the tambourine. Even with that mishap, this is a quality music set that kids love to play with.

    iPlay, iLearn Baby Musical Set

    This set is very engaging for babies. There are a variety of shapes and sounds. I owned pieces from this set and they are very durable. There are over 7,000 reviews for this item on Amazon and it is almost 5 stars. I would say this is a great starter musical set for baby.

    Lamaze Gardenbug Foot finder & Wrist Rattle Set

    These are the super soft instruments that keep babies busy for a long time as they discover sound and that they can make the sound by moving their leg or arm. I just love watching babies engaging with these rattles!!

    B. Toys Drumroll Please

    I own two of these musical sets. The kids all love to play with them. I love the colors and the varying textures that each item has. It is also convenient that the entire instrument set fits neatly inside the drum and that the lid is actually part of the instrument. I Highly recommend this set. It is more appropriate for the older toddler 18+ months.

    Playgro Baby Toy Jerry Giraffe

    I LOVE Playgro! A rattle like this has a lot to offer with several different kinds of sounds and textures. I own several different playgro baby toys. Children love the bright colors and the interesting parts to discover. These baby toys are washable too.

    If you have more recommendations that you have personally tested and would like to recommend, I would love to have you leave a comment!

    Get Your FREE Music Class!

    Your toddler or preschooler will love this Music Mini-Class. Join me and Beethoven, an adorable pancake loving sheepdog as we sing, dance, and play together!

    Easy Preschool Piano Lesson Game

    Parents have an advantage in teaching their own child preschool piano, because parents can capitalize on moments when a preschool child is well rested and ready to play piano games. Children learn extremely well when they play games and most children love to play games with their parents. The concepts that are taught to preschoolers are very basic such as high and low sounds, long and short sounds, loud and soft sounds, etc. By playing games that cover these learning activities with their child, parents are laying a wonderful foundation for formal lessons when the child is older.

    Parents Can Teach Preschool Piano?

    Parents absolutely can teach piano to their preschooler, because they have many different kinds of resources at their fingertips these days. Videos, playing games, singing movement songs with instruments, baskets filled with amazing musical instruments for preschoolers, etc. and can easily teach a child a lot in 3-5 minutes. Formal lessons require long lessons that often wear a child out. When a preschooler is having a good day, he may enjoy piano games and activities for a long length of time. But when a child is not having a great day, no amount of pressure will gain the cooperation that is desired, even for a minute.

    One of the reasons I created this blog was to help parents find resources for music making in the home. Teaching preschool piano is kind of like teaching your child to read. No one needs a degree in education to read books to a child. Most children learn to read by being read to and by practicing reading together with an adult. Music is the same. Parents can build a solid piano foundation that formal instruction can later refine by taking time to make music together, playing games together, and providing musical instruments and activities for preschool children to explore.

    How Do I Know When My Child is Ready to Learn Piano?

    I often have parents in my early childhood education class ask what is the best age for a child to begin the piano. My usual response… it depends. Preschoolers learn and grow socially very quickly, but because each child is so unique, it really does depend on the child.

    • Can the child sit still and concentrate on something for 4-5 minutes?
    • Do they enjoy working with others?
    • Do they listen?
    • Are they working on fine motor skills?
    • Are they interested in the piano?

    These are all questions I ask a parent before we begin talking about preschool piano lessons. For some children, just waiting another 6 – 12 months can make all the difference in piano playingreadiness.

    Preschool Piano Activities: Match Game

    Piano Match Game is a beginning piano game that reinforces the position of the music alphabet on the piano keyboard. This game explores the geography:

    • Identify groups of 2 Black Keys
    • Identify groups of 3 Black Keys
    • Identify the alphabet letter locations within the groups of 2 and 3 black keys
    • match colors (or more advanced only match location.

    Every child LOVES playing this game and they are especially motivated if you have some super cute tiny yous to play with. Lego people, hatchables, squinkees, or mini erasers are great! Check out the video below to see how easy it is to play this game with your preschooler. Add this game to your piano teaching resources by clicking HERE.

    Now You Can Teach Preschool Piano to Your Child!

    Kids love to play Piano Match Game and beg to play it over and over again. Join the many parents who are now teaching preschool piano at home with fun and engaging piano games!

    Get the Keyboard Match Game by subscribing below.

      We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

      Conclusion

      The most important thing to remember is that making music and playing the piano should be joyful. In teaching preschoolers, all the components of learning music and the piano must be broken down into their simplest parts. Teaching the child through games helps them learn about each part individually.

      For the preschool child, this might mean when he learns about loud sounds, he will stomp his feet and then play a stomping sound on the piano, or when he learns about soft sounds he may tiptoe around the room and then make a tip-toe sound at the piano. Moving the body helps a young child learn and will connect music making to things they already know. These simple parts of music making are accessible for every parent to teach.

      Every child loves music! I hope you will enjoy building your library of musical activities and resources for teaching your child preschool piano.

      What about Preschool Piano Lessons?

      I often have parents in my early childhood education class ask what is the best age for a child to begin the piano. My usual response… it depends. Preschoolers learn and grow socially very quickly, but because each child is so unique, it really does depend on the child. Can the child sit still and concentrate on something for 4-5 minutes? Do they enjoy working with others? Do they listen? Are they working on fine motor skills? These are all questions I ask a parent before we begin talking about preschool piano lessons. For some children, just waiting another 6 months can make all the difference in readiness.

      Can a 4 Year Old Learn Piano?

      Learning to play the piano requires the ability to think about many things at once. What is the note value – long or short? What is the pitch – low or high? Where is each note located on the piano? How should the note sound – soft or loud? It’s actually pretty amazing when you stop to think about how many thoughts need to happen simultaneously for music to happen. For very young learners this can be a challenge.

      Why Don’t Many Teachers Offer Preschool Piano Lessons?

      Teach your child preschool piano!  Every parent can play this preschool piano game, even if you never learned to play the piano yourself!

      Many 4 year olds are excited to play the piano. If you are fortunate to find a teacher who specializes in teaching preschool piano you are lucky. Many piano teachers are reluctant to teach preschool piano. Teachers desire filling their teaching schedule, but do not enjoy the extra work preschool piano lessons require. Preschoolers need to move, and they need to change activities at least every 4-5 minutes. This means teachers need to prep at least 6-10 activities/lesson to fill a 30 minute lesson. These extra activities, while fun, are not necessary in regular piano teaching to children over the age of 8.

      How Do I Teach My 4 Year Old Preschool Piano?

      Parents have an advantage in teaching their own child preschool piano. They can provide many creative, musical learning activities for their child which will prepare them for formal lessons when they are older. Children learn extremely well when they play games. There are many games parents can play with their child which will teach the child about the piano and reinforce musical concepts. Capturing moments when a preschool child is eager and ready to play is often the opportunity a formal teacher doesn’t get.

      Parents have an advantage in teaching preschool piano

      Cherie Norquay

      Parents have the opportunity to use a video, pick a game, sing movement songs with instruments, fill a basket with amazing musical instruments for preschoolers, etc. and can gently teach a child a lot in 3-5 minutes without the long lessons teachers require that often wear a child out. When a preschooler is having a good day, he may enjoy piano games and activities for a long length of time. But when a child is not having a great day, no amount of pressure will gain the cooperation that is desired.

      One of the reasons I created this blog was to help parents find resources for music making in the home. Teaching preschool piano is kind of like teaching your child to read. No one needs a degree in education to read books to a child. A child learns to read by being read to and reading together with an adult. Music is the same. Parents can build a solid piano foundation that formal instruction can later refine by taking time to make music together, playing games together, and providing musical instruments and activities for preschool children to explore.

      Preschool Piano Activities

      The first game I play with every piano student is the Piano Race Game. This game explores the geography of the piano. Children learn where the low and high sounds of the piano are. They learn the music alphabet and the groups of 2 black notes and 3 black notes are identified and counted on the piano. Every child LOVES playing this game and they are especially motivated if you have some super cute moving pieces (Lego men, tiny hatchables, or mini erasers are great!) Below there is an offer to get this game for FREE! I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to begin building a library of games and resources to help you to preschool piano to your child.

      Making music and playing the piano should be joyful!

      Cherie Norquay

      Conclusion

      The most important thing to remember is that making music and playing the piano should be joyful. Great piano instruction will break apart all the components of music and help a child learn about each part individually. For the preschool child, this might mean when he learns about loud sounds, he will stomp his feet and then play a stomping sound on the piano, or when he learns about soft sounds he may tiptoe around the room and then make a tip-toe sound at the piano. Moving the body helps a young child learn and will connect music making to things they already know. These simple parts of music making are accessible for every parent to teach. Every child loves music! I hope you will enjoy building your library of musical activities and resources for teaching your child preschool piano.

      race game preschool piano

      Join the Music Time Kid Community and get the Piano Race Game FREE!

      This is the first game I use with every new piano students and kids love to play it over and over!

      20 Musical Instruments for Preschoolers

      As an early childhood music instructor I select and use many different musical instruments for preschoolers. I look for instruments I do not think my students will have at home because I look for real instruments and not just toys. These toys would be perfect for a music basket that comes out occasionally when you need to keep your busy preschooler occupied for a while. Perfect for work-at-home or homeschool parents with preschoolers.

      This list of quality musical instruments are actual instruments I have actually purchased from Amazon. They have seen a years of heavy use by preschoolers and are still in amazing condition.

      Musical Instruments that Preschoolers Love

      Woven Double Jingle Caxixi Shaker – African Bottle Cap Rattle

      This rattle is perfect for little hands., because the woven handle is easy to hold onto. Bottle caps inside this rattle have a happy jingle sound.

      PlanToys Plan Preschool Clatter Music

      This toy is such a quality piece. Preschoolers can hold the handles easily and move their hands up and down to make the clatter sound. Besides playing this instrument children love exploring the rainbow of colors.

      Remo RH-2106-00 Rhythm Club Tambourine – Rhythm Kids, 6″

      Remo sells quality instruments! I have had several other tambourines that have broken within minutes of play. This tambourine has lasted four years in my early childhood music classes and still looks

      B. Parum Pum Pum Drum

      This set comes with a variety of colorful instruments that are perfect for young hands. Many of my toddlers loved marching with the drum as it has a strap which is removable (I’m not a fan of the strap for younger children). Great quality set.

      Remo Percussion 6″ Lollipop Drum

      I purchased THREE of these lollipop drums because I knew the children in my class would all want to play with it at the same time! Kids love marching around with this drum. The 6 inch size is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Imaginative and of course Remo quality can’t be beat! HIGH RECOMMEND!

      Oball Rainstick Rattle

      This shaky rainstick ball is easy for tiny fingers to hold. This style of toy is one of the first toys babies can really do something with. The colors are great, the soft rain beads inside have a shaker sound to them. This is a nice quality instrument for babies and toddlers.

      Bright Starts Rattle and Roll Buggy

      The sound on this little car is very very soft, but kids just LOVE this toy. It is easy to grasp, shake, push. I highly recommend this car more because children love love to play with this car than for the musical quality of the car.

      Bells and Eggs value pack

      ""
      This is one of those iffy purchases that totally delighted me. Some items on Amazon are poorly made, but this set has lasted so well that I have purchased additional sets when needed for a Preschool Christmas Program. As in anything that has smaller-ish parts, please use your judgement as to what age this set is suited for.

      Battat Piccolo Carousel Bells

      This bell set is amazing. Every child loves playing with it. I love that the mallet has two different heads. One is softer and gives a softer bell sound, the other side is harder and makes a louder ringing sound. At this moment Amazon doesn’t have this exact model available. I am always hesitant to recommend different products I have not tested, so I will not leave a different link here. But you may be able to find a different brand carousel bells.

      24 inch Musical Scarf Set

      I have been using these scarves every week for the past four years. I have washed and line dried them and the edges have stayed nice. I love that there are so many colors!

      5 inch Small Natural Wood Nino Clave Pair

      Wonderful size claves for small hands. I love the rounded ends and small size. Nino brand has a much nicer sound quality than other cheap brands. This is a wonderful musical instrument for preschoolers.

      Little Wooden 4 inch Rasp Frog

      This little frog is easy for little hands to hold. Sounds like a real frog sound.

      Xylophone with great sound

      This is my favorite xylophone because of the beautiful sound and it is in tune! Toddlers reach for this instrument over and over. I have had mine for 4 years and the paint colors still look fantastic with no chips.

      HOHNER Kids Set of 4 Finger Cymbals Brass

      Hohner Finger Cymbals have a much nicer and musical sound quality than other brands. I like these cymbals because they fit nicely on little fingers. Easy for preschoolers to hold and use.

      Schylling Kids Accordion

      This is probably one of the most played with musical instruments I own. I have had trouble keeping mine in perfect condition because I teach in a room with hard floors and I have had toddlers drop it. Currently there are two buttons that no longer work (after four years) but kids still love playing this instrument. I think it is facinating that you can get two different sounds from only one button (one pitch when you pull out and a different one when you push in). Bonus: A grandparent favorite!

      Skip Hop Baby Musical Toys: Explore & More Accordion Hedgehog

      This accordian gets a HIGH RECOMMEND not because of it’s amazing sound, but because every child absolutely adores this toy and looks to play with it week after week. The handles are easy to hold and this accordian is easy for even very little children to pull. The sound is very soft which I found a little disappointing, but for most parents, I think that might be a godsend.

      Skip Hop Baby Musical Toys: Explore & More Accordion Hedgehog Shakers

      Cute Fox, Owl, and Hedgehog Shaker Eggs have fun colors and different textures on the outside of each shaker. Each shaker sound is slightly different sounding from each other and quality of sound is soft for little ears. Perfect for babies.

      Remo 5″ – 6″ Rhythm Club Bongo Drum

      These bongos are great for small hands and kids love that there is more than one drum! Again Remo quality can’t be beat. These drums are still in perfect condition after years of play.

      Wooden Cabasa Small Percussion Hand Shaker

      Small size cabasa for small hands. Kids are intrigued by the beads and how they move on this instrument. I love real instruments and don’t think kids should be denied the opportunity to play real percussion instruments. Quality instrument!

      disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on those links and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me continue to add helpful information to this blog.

      It’s never too late to start your music basket! Not only are these musical instruments enjoyed by preschoolers, but even by Kindergarten-3rd grade students, parents, grandparents, and friends of the family love to play them. My grandkids beg to get out a basket of instruments each time they come over. My husband says it must be nice to be the coolest grandma on the planet. (Ha!)

      Get your FREE Music Mini-Class!

      Kids LOVE music! And they will love to clap, stomp, shake, sing and play musical instruments with Beethoven, an adorable pancake-loving sheep dog that loves making music! Get your free class today!

      Create a Joyful Home Using Children’s Music

      Children’s Music

      CHILDREN'S MUSIC

      The world is a loud, noisy, and frenzied place, so it’s important to have a place where we can escape. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our homes were the refuge we desire? Unfortunately, many homes today are as loud and demanding as the outside world… demanding our energy in ways that just drain us to the breaking point: children insist on having their own way, or enjoy poking at their siblings, the water heater breaks, flooding your utility room, a package you were waiting for disappears from your doorstep, you know… real life happens. How can we change the atmosphere in our home if it’s not joyful? How can we create a more nurturing, restful sanctuary full of love, laughter and joy? Children’s music is one key to achieving this, and every parent should learn how to use children’s songs to create a joyful home.

      Busy families wake up early, prep for the day ahead, rush out the door, and return home to cook, clean, do schoolwork, and more. Children seldom have a dull moment during the day. Then we rinse and repeat all week long. With such busy lives, how can we minimize the stress and nurture a more joyful atmosphere inside our homes? Is it even possible? I assure you there are ways to nurture a more joyful atmosphere in the home without adding more to your do-to list. Children’s music can simply be added as you go through the day. This blog post gives more detail about 5 Things I Want Parents to Know About This Blog.

      Get your FREE Music Mini-Class

      Your toddler or preschooler will love this Music Mini-Class.  Join me and Beethoven, an adorable pancake loving sheepdog as we sing, dance and play together!

      What is a Joyful Home?

      A home is the place where one lives. Joyful is an adjective which we desire to describe the home: feeling, expressing, or causing great pleasure and happiness. A joyful home is a home where the family living inside finds great happiness enjoying one another. Laughter, giggles, happy moments, hugs, compassion and care are all a part of joyful family life. Of course there are other non-joyful moments, but overall the mood of the home is one of delight.

      How does music bring joy?

      This article that talks about how music is a pleasure seeking activity that most people engage in. It cites a study that claims listening to the music you love releases more dopamine, a neurotransmitter, in the brain. Because neurotransmitters are important for cognitive development, emotions and behavior, one can link music directly to brain development and happiness.

      However, you don’t have to be a scientist to actually see how music brings joy to people. Here are a couple examples:

      • I teach an online toddler music class and work with children ages infant-preschool and adults. For 30 minutes, there is an enjoyable experience: singing, bouncing stuffed animals, moving to the beat, dancing, hopping, twirling scarfs, and playing instruments. I see this happiness first hand in my in-person classes.
      • Concerts are filled with listeners who are enjoying the music, friends, and family. Smiles are everywhere.
      • When I am taking care of my grandkids, I use music to gain cooperation. We sing songs to pick up toys, clear the table and even brush teeth. Music gets the job done with enthusiasm and smiles.

      Why Use Children’s Music?

      Not only does listening to or creating music bring joy to a child or adult. Music encourages brain, emotional, and behavioral development. Parents learn how to use children’s music to help with everyday life situations. They become equipped to can change whatever kind of moment they happen to be dealing into a more pleasant and joyful experience. Even when parents are tired, upset, or frenzied, listening to music can be a way to decompress. Music is often used in spas? Soothing, tranquil music, can really change how you feel.

      How to get started creating a more joyful atmosphere

      Here are just a couple ideas of how children’s music can be added to the day to make it more joyful. A parent can sing a “time to get dressed” song or offer a child a choice in something by singing “you get to choose” when they are helping their children. It adds no more time to the day, but the day can be more joyful by simply singing a song. There is wide abundance of children’s music to encourage cooperation, give choices, prepare for bedtime, learn skills, and so much more.

      When taking my third child to the doctor for her 6 month old well baby visit, the doctor asked her older brother if he ever got tired of hearing his baby sister cry. He calmly said, “No, she never cries.” The doctor looked doubtingly at my son and I quickly reaffirmed his story. You see, the doctor didn’t know what I knew... music can change your inner spirit and make a home more joyful. My youngest three children rarely ever cried. We spent our days singing when we woke up, singing to get dressed, we sang a song before we ate at the table (you get the idea). My kids still remember many of the songs we sang each day.

      Easy Ways to Use Children’s Music

      • Pick one time of day where you can incorporate a new song into your routine like using a song for clean up time, or getting dressed in the morning.
      • Use music as a distraction. Often when a child is focused on a negative behavior, music will instantly distract the child from the situation and turn the situation around.
      • Use music to offer choices. Children like to be offered choices. Singing a little tune to words like “would you like this one? Or would you like that one?” helps eliminate power struggles because the child has a choice and the choice is presented in a delightful way.
      • Use music to encourage cooperation. Children want to participate in being helpful and cooperative when it is presented in a fun way. It is much easier to get children to cooperate when they are joyful.
      • Use children’s music to build community and reinforce kindness. Sharing toys, caring about feelings, being gentle are examples of interacting with others. Songs that reflect care and concern for others help instill this value in children.

      Tips for Success in creating musical routines

      • Print the lyrics to songs and hang them up in places that will remind you to add music to your day. For instance, place a song you’d like to sing at diaper time on the wall of your diaper changing station.
      • Teach your child some of the easy songs. For example, when it is time to clean up toys, encourage your child to sing with you until the toys are all picked up.
      • Use your phone, Google, Alexa, etc. to play a song when you need cooperation. Even if you don’t know the lyrics to a song, having a song playing that you and your child can learn together is helpful.

      The Last Thing You Need to Know about Children’s Music

      Life isn’t perfect. Life can be difficult. Raising children can be tiring. But maintaining joy in the home helps brings out the best in each person each day. Learning how to use children’s music can be an effective parenting tool to turn difficult situations into an instantly silly or fun experiences. Children are not picky connoisseurs of music. They delight in any kind of music that is shared with them. Don’t be self-conscious, but rather sing, move and be playful! You will see a new kind of joy emerging from your children.

      15 Toddler Music and Movement Songs

      When I first began teaching early childhood music classes, I began the tedious task of searching for the best toddler music and movement songs. There is a sea of children’s music on Youtube, but I tend to call it the sea of mediocrity because, I am very picky about what I call good music. Good music can stand the test of time. Good music speaks to many generations just like good children’s literature. There are some amazing children’s music artists, and finding that music is important because parents need to enjoy listening to this music as well. Here are 15 movement songs I use often in my toddler music programs. Both toddlers and parents enjoy these songs!

      I have other blog posts with more wonderful “get the wiggles out” songs and several blog posts about the kind of instruments many children really enjoy. The songs are even more fun when you get out a basket of instruments to play!

      Toddler Online Music Class that every child loves!

      Get your FREE Music Mini-Class

      Your toddler or preschooler will love this Music Mini-Class.  Join me and Beethoven, an adorable pancake loving sheepdog as we sing, dance and play together!

      Toddler Movement Songs

      15 Toddler Music and Movement Songs that Every Child Loves!
      Everybody Clap

      Children love this song because they can do some many types of movement. Everybody can clap their hands, stomp their feet, play peek-a-boo, move side to side, and count to three. This song is in the TOP 5.

      Bunny Hop

      Hop, Hop, Hop! Children beg to hop and move to this song. They love to wiggle their ears, paws, nose, and shake their little cottontail. This is a TOP 5 song!

      Peekaboo

      Peekaboo is a fun toddler game and this movement song is a favorite. You can play peekaboo with your hands, but often I will use a scarf so that children can cover their head, face, and/or eyes.

      Hop Old Squirrel

      Every child loves to use their imagination. How does a squirrel move? He can hop, tip-toe, and so much more!

      Baby Shark

      Baby shark is a favorite TOP 5 song! Arm motions make this song more exciting as we move from tiny sharks to bigger sharks. Kids have fun swimming and swimming away from the sharks until they are safe at last!

      We’re Walking to the Drum

      Let’s walk, tip-toe, stomp, and run to the drum. Kids especially love the running! Loop this song so they can do it over and over!

      Gray Squirrel

      Gray Squirrel loves to shake his bushy tail. I love to shake a scarf and imagine that scarf is gray squirrel’s tail. He is eager to hold a nut and wiggle his nose! This song is a wonderful, imaginative toddler movement song.

      Learning to listenMove to the Beat (The Sitting Movement Song!)

      Learning to listen is an important skill. Not only will kids get to move and then stop! They also get to be silly!

      Shake Your Maraca

      Shake, Shake, Shake and Stop. Can you shake it up high? Shake it down low? It’s so fun to shake and move. If you don’t have a maraca, find a box of mac & cheese or something else that will give a nice sha-key sound!

      Play Your Instruments

      I am a huge Ella Jenkins fan! Ella is now 96 years old, and she began her musical career back in the 1950s. She always taught respect, kindness, empathy, and understood that children learned by moving to music and through the stories she told through music. A hallmark in children’s music, Ella Jenkins stands the test of time.

      The Toe-Tappin’, Foot-Stompin’, Egg-Shakin’ Blues

      Bluesy feelin’ shaking song. If your toddler can stand and move, they can move their toes or tip-toe, but if your child isn’t steady they can touch their toes with their hands. Toes tap! Feet stomp! Shake those shakers!

      One Little Finger (Sing-Along)

      Children love to identify and point to the parts of their body: head, nose, chin, arms, leg, feet. You can even get silly by tickling your chin.

      Move It, Move It!

      Let’s move it! Twist it! Stomp it! Tip-toe it! And then stop! It’s so much to dance to this groove. I love the guitar and drums! This is a TOP 5 song!

      Clap Clap Clap Your Hands Together (2014 Version)

      Toddlers love to clap their hands! It’s fun to pat your knees, stomp your feet, blink your eyes and more!

      The Shaker Song

      Bouncy and fun! Get some shakers and move!

      Build Your Toddler Music Playlist

      Below you will find convenient Amazon links to the toddler movement songs I have listed. I hope this will help save you time so you can add more toddler movement music to your play list. Your toddlers will love shaking, dancing and wiggling to these songs. Get more information about toddler online music classes here.

      Please note that this post contains affiliate links which means I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase any of these products.

      These songs are perfect Toddler Music and Movement Songs for a Rainy Day!

      Toddler Online Music Class

      Why are there on-line music classes for toddlers?

      In 2020, all over the country, music classes and music lessons had to close their doors. This happened to my early childhood music classes. As soon as I cancelled my Spring music classes I had parents asking if there was a way for me to create an online toddler music class so we could still get together. It took several months of planning, recording and editing, but I finally completed my first 6 week music program for toddlers, babies, and preschoolers called “Play With Me”.

      What should a toddler music class look like?

      Children learn in so many different ways that incorporating many different kinds of experiences is necessary. Here are some items I strive to teach in every music class.

      Basic music concepts can also be taught to kids of any age: babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  Feeling a steady beat, hearing rhythms, developing the inner ear (hearing the song in your head), instrument play, interactive games, and many other musical activities are all important in music classes.

      All of the components of this kind of music program can be found in an online toddler music class.

      What kind of music should kids listen to?

      This is a good question. In fact, it is one of the questions that inspires me to write this blog. I am always on the search for great music for toddlers. And it is also important to me, as a parent, that kids and parents can enjoy listening to music together.. I wrote an article, 5 Things I Want Parents to Know About this Blog, that outlines why I am writing this blog. Empowering parents to use music in their daily lives, finding great quality music, and creating ways to enjoy music together are just a part of the reasons.

      Classical Music

      There is so much good music for parents to choose from!  One choice that is widely recommended that children listen to from birth is classical music. Classical music is very stimulating for the brain and is said to improve cognitive development.  Children especially love listening to Mozart. When my children were young I had a collection of Baby Einstein videos.  The  Mozart video was a huge favorite.  When children hear classical music,  it helps them begin their musical language and forms a foundation for when they want to learn to play instruments and take music lessons.  This music is accessible to kids of all ages and will certainly increase their ability for future music lessons.

      Traditional Music

      I am sure that you can remember the joy of hearing your favorite childhood songs. Memories are made in these moments, and they seem to last forever!  Classic tunes never get old, are routinely taught in preschool learning, and I include plenty of them in my music classes.  Every young child can play, explore dance and movement, and sing to classic tunes.

      Here is a tiny list of music recommendations to get you going:

      Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

      Mary Had A Little Lamb

      Old MacDonald Had a Farm

      London Bridges

      Rain Rain Go Away

      Just see for yourself how happy everyone is music making, and dancing!

      Finding Great Children’s Music

      There are many studies that show how music can help with cognitive development and academic performance in children as well! Preschool songs should be fun to listen too but they also need to teach kids things like counting, colors, alphabet letters, manners, etc.   One of my favorite artists who writes original tunes just for kiddos is Raffi– he has a lot of catchy melodies you’ll find even parents love singing his songs.  Most adults enjoy his work too because it isn’t cartoon-ish, baby-ish, or full of hype. His work tends to appeal universally.

      Here is a link to one of my favorite Raffi album’s, Bananaphone.

      disclaimer: this page may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

      World Music

      When I teach early childhood music classes I always include music from other countries. Listening to different instruments, percussion, rhythm, musical styles, and singing allows  children to hear new sounds. It sparks new ideas children can imitate when they create and make music on their own.

      I have also chosen to include world music in my online toddler music class because it just makes the music program so much richer!

      Why should there be so much repetition in early childhood?

      toddler online music class

      The toddler brain loves repetition. Begging to read the same story a hundred times in a row? Re-watching their favorite show for hours on end? Yes, toddlers love repeating things and that’s actually good news! That is how they learn new skills like reading or math!  Changing things up every now and then can be a good idea but you want to make sure that your kids are not disappointed.  Don’t forget to sing their favorite songs each week!

      When I teach my music program, I always include a lot of repetition:  Singing some of the same songs each week and only changing a few things like the song for movement and dancing, or the drumming song.

      People will notice in my online toddler music class that I repeat many songs. Even the songs I change out in one week, I will bring back again later. That is because every child loves different songs and kids are so disappointed when they do not sing their favorite song. In fact that is the ONE thing they are looking forward to!

      Let’s look a little closer.  How do children learn the ABC’s? Repetition. And incorporating music into learning has a synergistic effect. When learning and music are combined, it makes a way for the learning to stick. It’s easier to remember.  That’s why we teach a child to sing the alphabet instead of just reciting it.  Even at the earliest age learning the alphabet (which is pretty long!) is mastered through song.

      Would you like to try an online music class?

      Here is a brand new music program I know your kids would love.  This program is the result of many years of lessons and all ages love to sing, dance and play with Beethoven, an adorable, pancake-loving sheep dog, Beethoven.  Beethoven is silly and loves to sing, dance, and play musical instruments.  He will encourage your child to play fast and slow, and move move move!  This 20 minute music class touches on many musical activities you would find in my “in- person” music program where the classes are 30 minutes in length. Most toddlers participate independently, yet they love the encouragement, interaction, and praises of a caring adult!  It’s important to play with your toddler!  So enjoying the class with your kids is highly recommended. 

      Parents are often delighted to find that their big kids love this class as much as a younger child!  Try it out for free below and let me know if you enjoy the class.  I am interested in creating more music programs if it is something people are looking for!  At any rate, I know the ideas in this class will be helpful for parents and you can adapt all the early childhood activities you see me demonstrate for a child of any age with your own playlist.

      My favorite Toddler Movement Music can be found here!

      Toddlers LOVE music!  Now you can experience a free toddler online music class right in your own living room!  Get some rhythm instruments, a stuffed animal and a kitchen towel and let the fun begin@

      Get your FREE Music Mini-Class

      Your toddler or preschooler will love this Music Mini-Class.  Join me and Beethoven, an adorable pancake loving sheepdog as we sing, dance and play together!

      Child-tested and approved!

      Kids LOVE Music! And they will love meeting Beethoven, an adorable pancake-eating sheep dog who loves to sing, dance and play in this FREE toddler online music mini-class!

      Music Time Kids was Designed for Parents of Young Children and Here is Why

      I am tired of hearing parents complain about their children. Some of the most common complaints include: My child isn’t cooperating. I constantly have power struggles over what clothes my child wants to wear. My child won’t eat the food I cook. He only wants ice cream. My child isn’t going to bed and staying there. When I hear these complaints, parents are voicing frustration. They do not know what to do to get their children to cooperate. And these parents are lacking resources that can help them be more successful. However, if parents add wonderful parenting tips to their arsenal, they eventually end up with the tools they are looking for to create more joy in the home, children who are more content, and families who enjoy spending time together.

      Many resources I find on-line are full of hype, not age appropriate, or nurturing to the spirit. In finding very little content I think is joy directed, educational, and encouraging, I decided to create that resource myself.

      Music Time Kids was Designed for Parents of Young Children

      I know first hand how much help parents of young children need. I raised five children of my own and now my children are having babies. You can only learn bit by bit, finding answers to questions and problems each day.

      I hope my readers will find the information in this blog helpful. I plan to share the stories and lessons I have learned over 27 years of parenting. There are no shortcuts on the parenting journey, but there are definitely things I wished I knew when I was younger.

      I hope you find this resource helpful as I share my stories, music that I have created, favorite children’s artists, products I believe are quality and educational, and programs and classes that are valuable and educational.

      Scroll to Top