Variety is the Spice…

Life is so much more fun when there are 31 flavors of ice cream available.  I can vividly remember going every Sunday growing up with my Dad to the local Baskin Robbins ice cream store and staring into the cases trying to decide which flavor I’d pick.  While I had my favorites (mint-chocolate chip), it was always fun peeking at the possibilities and getting those little tasting spoons to try a bit of something new before making a decision.  I see the same joy in my kids’ faces now when we go to a local yogurt bar for a similar ritual.  The combinations are so much more delightful simply because there are so many choices.  There is so much variety.

Music certainly works that way.  Oftentimes what is hailed as genius provides new and interesting combinations of instruments, rhythms, pitches, or presentations.  And great musicians are great in part because of their immense versatility gained by learning to play or sing in a variety of styles, colors, and ways.

Variety.  It adds color, flavor, interest.  And our brains like it.  Studies show we are drawn to music that is in part familiar and in part new and different.  And as is often the case, our brains like musical variety because it’s good for them.

Here are some of the benefits you can see:

  • Vary instruments, timbres, tonalities, tempi, rhythms, etc. to help your child become more aware, alert, and sensitive—not only to music but to his total environment.
  • Include a variety of settings for music both passive and active, and you are teaching him the many roles that music can play. Music can help him relax, cope with feelings, celebrate, create, and express beyond verbal capabilities.
  • Expose your child to music with unfamiliar tonalities to promote the development of new neural pathways and help him master more complex music later in life.
  • Share with your child new instrument sounds, music in modes other than the typical Major and Minor modes of traditional Western music,
    and songs of cultures other than your own to allow her to appreciate a broader range of music throughout her life as well as expose her to cultures other than her own.
  • Sing and speak in both high and low ranges as a means to initiate different responses from your child.  Research has discovered that exposure
    to high sounds plays an important part in maintaining alertness and energy required for learning. Lower pitches calm and relax the body.  And mid-range pitches are easier for early singers to reproduce.

Want to provide your child with musical variety?  Here’s the easiest homework you’ll ever have.  Simply by coming to class and listening and singing along at home your are providing your child with an extremely varied musical diet.  While we start with simple things like a variety of timbres (instrument colors) from drums to egg shakers to sandblocks.  You’ll also hear music in class and on your CDs from all over the world including folk songs, instruments, and compositions from Europe, China, Indonesia, Japan, India, Australia, Africa, South America, and more.  We even sing songs in more uncommon modes (beyond Major and Minor) like Dorian, Lydian, and Mixolydian.  It’s just one more reason we love Kindermusik!

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply