It’s well known that developing a child’s love of music has a whole lot of benefits. Music ignites all areas of child development and skills for school readiness, including intellectual, social-emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy.
What’s more – it’s great fun! One person who knows a whole lot about music is award-winning country music artist and mum Amber Lawrence.
“I actually didn’t start out as a singer, initially I was a chartered accountant,” Amber says. “But I always loved music – it was my passion and it just brings such happiness! My son Ike is now two and I love seeing his enjoyment with music. Music allows children to express themselves, dance, sing and be joyous in a way that nothing else can.”
Get The Kids Singing And Dancing
Amber is so passionate about children and music that she has just released a new kids’ album The Kid’s Gone Country II – Fun for All the Family.
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“It’s the third instalment in my catalogue of children’s music, full of fun, and catchy tunes about fun in the Australian country – all the ways that kids can get active and learn to love our country, and all the fun things you can do. I really focussed on including lots of things that kids love, such as animals, and swimming, and dancing and singing. There is a song about self beauty, a song about recycling and lots of songs about moving and dancing! Ike was also the inspiration for many of the songs.
“I wanted to get into producing music for kids as I think there is room for more inspiring and fun songs for kids under 10. I want to reach kids who like my ‘adult’ songwriter material, but with more age appropriate songs to encourage them to sing, learn an instrument and enjoy country music. When kids grow out of nursery rhymes it’s almost like they have to jump to songs that aren’t necessarily age appropriate – my songs are for that time.”
Amber says that the album is for kids up to around eight, nine or 10 years old, but it’s also for families. “It’s the kind of music to put in the car for the annual Christmas road trip. Whilst little ones under two will enjoy it, I feel it’s perfect for ages two to 10. Kids Australia-wide loved my first kids’ album and I hope they love this one even more.”
Amber’s Tips On How to get your child excited about music
Amber gives us her tips on how to encourage a love of music in your kids.
Encourage musicality in young kids by playing music – lots of it!
When Ike is in the car we always have music playing – sometimes it’s my music, other times it’s favourites such as The Wiggles. We sing around our house a lot as well. We make up songs and just love to include music in all our activities. I think the nursery rhymes that we sang as children are still around today because they are just great songs for kids – easy to remember with simple little melodies. So, pull out the old Twinkle Twinkle and get singing!
Make music fun
Ike loves all music, but he especially loves fun songs. He loves my new album (mostly because he’s had to listen to it so many times!) and he also loves Baby Shark. I make it even more fun for him as we replace the words with every person we have ever met, so the song goes on for hours! Ike sings like he’s having a conversation with himself, and I think it’s amazing – I never try to stop him. I think singing builds confidence in kids finding their voice – and I really think the voice is such an important part of your confidence. If kids are also having a lot of fun with songs, then they’ll keep singing them.
Introduce your child to different types of music
As kids get older it’s a nice idea for them to listen to all different kinds of music – pop, ballads, rock, classical. Country music is great for kids as it’s always focused on the story and kids love stories. All of the kids’ songs I’ve written have fun stories contained within. We open the album with ‘Down on the Farm’ which takes you to a cool farm, and lets you explore. Then it’s ‘We Live in a Zoo’, a song about imagining if your house was actually a zoo. We have some stories about the weather and drought, recycling and many more. It’s very engaging.
Suggest older kids learn an instrument
Once kids are at school, they might be asked if they want to learn an instrument. This is a great thing to do. I would encourage your child to pick up whatever instrument they resonate with – but in my opinion, piano and guitar are great options! I have always loved playing the guitar as it lends itself to singing along so well. Your child will never regret the time they spend learning an instrument. It’s a life-long skill that can bring them and others lots of joy.
Get them to practice singing
People often believe they’ve been born ‘tone deaf’ but I believe everyone can sing. It’s an extension of speaking so it’s like running – you walk then you run, and with some practice you can be a good runner! The same goes for singing. We can all sing – but with more practice, and doing it more, we can all sound pretty nice. One way a child can develop tone and strengthen their voice is to join the school choir. If they’re not up for that, they can always sing around the house, in the car or wherever they are! I truly believe that through exposure to lots of music and singing as often as you can – your voice will improve. By singing confidently your child will then be even more into music throughout the years, and that’s a great thing!
The Kid’s Gone Country II – Fun for All the Family, RRP $14.99, is available at Sanity and selected JB HI-FI stores, on download at iTunes and through www.amberlawrence.com.au
Do your kids love music? Tell us in the comments below.