Doesn’t it seem that Doman has a method for everything? Either way sound good to me.
Out of all the programs we do, this turned out to be the easiest and the most fun.
Actually, Doman believes there are quite a few things you can get started with babies:
Well, that’s the easiest one: just turn on music and enjoy it! And Doman actually believes it is the most important part of musical program. So, a little more to it:
- Pick a composer that you love
- Pick a musical piece that you enjoy: joyful, happy, dramatic
- Play a little part of that piece (~30 seconds or even less for small babies) 3 or more times a day. Announce the piece by stating the name of the composer and the name of the musical piece.
- As you are playing it – dance, bang the rythm, hug and kiss your baby – have fun!
- Play the same melody for a week and next week pick a different segment of that musical piece, or a different musical piece altogether. At the end of the week you can listen to the entire piece.
- Always stop before your baby wants to stop!
We altered the approach a little: I also show the picture of a composer, say one or two facts about him and play one full composition of his (I pick small ones, such as Flower Symphony by Tchaikovsky from Nutcracker, or Toreador by Bizet from Carmen). We dance, bang the sticks, jump up and down, play with toys, or just hug. Or continue with our activities – eat, play, cook. Now whenever any of the Bach opening notes start up, my son starts screaming “Baaaaah!”, or whenever Carmen fragments are played, he is marching. For Schuman we jump up and down. For Schubert we try to bang waltz rhythm. For Tchaikovsky we spin in one place. Tons of fun!
Supplies: you don’t really need anything if you’ve already got the music, but I found the following very helpful:
Classic Composers (click on Products and pick Classical composers – they don’t allow direct links)
This is a subscription for CDs and a little booklets about the composers. It makes it much easier for us: I don’t need to search for a suitable piece on my CDs, I don’t need to surf the net for pictures and facts. I get the whole package: picture, little booklet full of facts, and a CD where I can pick suitable fun piece.
Though, honestly, I prefer different source for the actual music pieces: Bethoven’s Wig CDs These CDs became our favorite since my niece and nephew got them as gift. So far I find them a lot more helpful for this program: the musical pieces included are short, fun, and we can listen to the funny songs written for those pieces afterwards. So, while I do use the previous set for pictures and melodies that I can’t find on these CDs, these are our primary “music donors”. Besides, I love the silly songs so much, that I don’t mind listening to them in a car over and over again, as long as my little music fan desires.
As far as I’ve read before, every child is born with a perfect pitch. Then our singing out of tune, and total ignorance of it usually gets him to lose it. What a pity, though I think the benefits of singing together outweigh the loss of perfect pitch.
What is a perfect pitch? It is an ability to differentiate different sounds and know what notes they are. Doman actually recomends a program that helps develop a perfect pitch in children.
- You need a perfect pitch instrument: small xylophone that you can carry around with you.
- We use Angel Glockenspiel 25 note xylophone
This one was recommended to us by Perla, terrific author of
TheClassicalMommy site. So far it’s been serving us very well – sturdy,
compact, large selection of notes, sounds good.
- Some people mentioned that an electronic piano also has a perfect pitch, but I am not sure how portable that is.
- We use Angel Glockenspiel 25 note xylophone
To teach an older child, play and name your 3 notes 5-10 times a day for 5 day. Ona sixth day retire one of the notes and add a new one (same as with cards!)
Once you are done with perfect pitch you can start note reading: ability to “hear” pitches as you look at the written musical notation.
- Create a bit card for every note on your xylophone.
- Pick 5 notes, play them simultaneously showing the appropriate bit card. No need to name the note, just show. Add and retire the same way as with flash cards. Go through all the notes.
- Now teach the same bits by naming them: “C”, “A”, “F flat”; don’t indicate “low C”, “high C”. The child will intuit into it.
- Once the child is mature enough to play with this information…
- play note bingo (create bingo cards with 3×3 squares containing note names)
- musical note hopscotch
- play a note and give a child 2-3 choices of answers to pick from
- play two notes and let the child point which one matches the single bit card you are holding for him to see
- pick an note on xylophone and let child try copy it with his voice
- Create a card game with musical notation, such as “Go Fish”.
- share if you find other interesting game!
Two parts to it: the natural learning of rhythm in a melody and musical notation of rhythm.
Natural rhythm learning:
- find some marches and march to them
- find some foot-stomping music and clap to it
- dance along some waltzes
- in short, play any music and help the baby identify its rhythm by moving with it
- Make rhythm bits (full note, quarter note, etc.)
- Practice reading bits in rhythm
- Make up your own rhythm cards and practice reading them. Gradually increase the number of notes.
… to be continued.