We love to dance in our home . . .
And chances are, your kids do, too.
Kids are born with the ability to enjoy music. I used to keep my kiddos entertained while I made dinner by letting them play drums on pots and pans with wooden spoons. These days, my girls enjoy all types of music. Some nights we have dance night on the back porch; we play music from different eras while the girls dance along. At other times they write their own music and put on shows for us.
My husband and I feel music and the arts are an important part of life. They allow us to be creative, to imagine, and to enjoy something that can make us feel good, happy, and relaxed.
One thing we have decided to do as our kids grow is to get them involved in music.
For the past several years my girls have taken a piano class. They are young, so they are simply learning the basics, but both girls can already read music and play a variety of songs on the piano. My oldest daughter has expressed interest in learning the guitar, so we plan to have her take guitar lessons in the future.
Music lessons are not always the cheapest activity you can provide your kids, though. We lucked out when we were referred to someone by a friend. If you would like your children to learn to read and appreciate music, here are three ways to locate a great music teacher on a budget.
1. Ask around. We found our piano teacher through a friend whose son took her class. She works from her home and has taught piano for many years. But as the girls have taken class with her, we’ve also learned of other piano teachers through various means: high school students who have taken classes for years, which would be fine for teaching basics the first year or so; other teachers at the girls’ school that have played piano for years; and even referrals through the school’s music teacher, who knows many piano players. You can do this for any instrument. Ask friends, ask at the school, and connect with people involved in the arts and music in particular through the community.
2. Check out music stores. We found the prices were higher for lessons when we asked, but sometimes music stores offer boards on which people can place classified ads. You might find a cheaper alternative to music lessons on one of the boards than you will from someone who teaches through the store. Other stores do offer pretty reasonably priced classes, so it doesn’t hurt to ask the cost of lessons at a music store.
3. Get started early. We started with music appreciation by taking the girls to classes like Mommy and Me and Music Together. I can still sing most of the songs from the Music Together CD! In those classes the girls banged on and shook instruments, learned songs and rhythm, and fostered the enjoyment of music. Check with your local rec department, which often hosts these classes. You might also check on other classes that are geared toward kids, such as Mommy and Me; oftentimes these classes can lead you to a variety of other classes appropriate for kids.