by Auntie Em
For a couple of years, my peace and quiet was interrupted by our next door neighbor’s teenage son and his garage band. They practiced almost every weekend, playing everything from hip-hop to county western and jazz, until the “wannabe musicians” were silenced when the five of them left for college a year ago.
I was so thankful for the return to normal sound levels on our block.
But early last Saturday morning, I heard a steady thumping of drums. It was hard to label the sound, but it kind of sounded like a rock band drummer with a bad hangover. Thud, bang, bang, thumpity, thump, thump, thump!
Oh my God……I suddenly remembered that my husband had mentioned that Raymond, the 3 year old across the street had just gotten a drum set. How could such a little person make so much noise?
Thank goodness he didn’t live next door.
Don’t get me wrong. I definitely believe that music is an important part of children’s lives, but when I was a kid I took piano lessons and my banging on the keys was never loud enough to be heard outside.
After the shock of it all I tried to listen more objectively and decided it really wasn’t that awful. In fact, if he keeps practicing he will probably be on America’s Got Talent by 2017.
The point is, music is critical to our lives, and that love and enjoyment starts at a very young age; and enjoying music includes playing music. Plus, researchers in the field of neurology believe that musical training can play a profound role in the development of a child’s sensory system. Experts believe that playing music might help children process speech and enable them to better interpret the subtleties of language that are conveyed in the human voice.
Not sure if drums fit into that language category but they certainly help a kid get good rhythm and coordination. Plus, percussion instruments give kids a constructive——although noisy—-outlet for their energy.
If drums are too costly or big for your taste, you can find a variety of smaller percussion instruments that are perfect to help children learn rhythm. They can ring a hand bell in time to music or a metronome. Maracas are another popular toy for children. You might also try the triangle or a tambourine, which can be found at music stores.
A homemade instrument, such as a rain stick is another option. Use an empty paper towel tube for the body of the rain stick. Glue cardboard to one end to seal it up, then add unpopped popcorn, sand, coarse salt and small beans to the tube so it becomes a noisemaker. Seal up the other end with cardboard and decorate.
These are fun and easy to make. In fact, I plan to invite myself over to accompany Raymond with my rain stick next weekend