Summer Musical Activities for Families
By Matthew Pink – Summer Bands, Dance and Music Games are Family Fun Activities.
It’s almost time for parents across the world to take a deep breath, grit their teeth and conjure a million ways to entertain their little darlings for the long, long weeks of the summer holidays.
Instead of letting them run riot across the far corners of your house, knocking down antique statues, color-splashing upholstery and terrifying the dog, there are other ways to entertain their hearts and minds over this period. You just need to be imaginative and think ahead. Do this and your own free-time over summer will be infinitely more relaxing.
Your child may already be proficient with a particular instrument or in writing music, or they may be a complete beginner. Whatever their current position on the current music-learning scale, there are a plethora of summer camps which offer fun, interactive and worthwhile lessons in music writing, playing, instrument making and group practice.
The nature of these camps may entail lessons on an individual basis or in small groups, but whatever the structure the classes are often taken by experts in specific musical fields.
Organize a Summer Band
Over the summer holidays it is common for different parents to alternate the hosting of the get-togethers for members of their children’s friendship circle. Parents can turn these gatherings into collective music practice sessions but give the sessions shape and focus by getting the group to practice and learn certain songs by heart.
All parents need to do is, judge the makeup of the group carefully, download the most suitable sheet music for the kids to practice from (the songs should be achievable, recognizable and fun to play) and then act as a sort of conductor for the practice sessions.
Create a Music Room
Another super fun activity for restless little bodies over the summer period is to create a special space for music practice where the whole decoration, layout and feel of the room is geared towards the love of playing music.
This space can be painted especially with musical images – instruments, choirs, musical notes, fiesta – can house all the musical instruments within the house and can be the space which is used every day for a music practice session. The house then has its own musical Mecca which is a colorful, joyful space filled by the fun of music playing.
Outdoor Dance Classes
Young children have oodles and oodles of energy to burn and just love to be outside in summertime. Parents can harness these two factors by organizing dance classes in their gardens or in nearby parks. All you need is a stereo and some idea of dance routines which the kids can pick up.
Sessions can last for as long as there is energy in the dancing squad and should any initial optimism be hard to eke out, you need only show films like High School Musical or Step up to the Streets to get that enthusiasm coursing again.
Should you feel a little short on ideas routine-wise, this site offers some inspirational ideas.
Musical Suitcase Game
This is an extremely fun game which you can play with kids in outdoor spaces or at home in a variety of different ways.
One especially fun way is to fill the suitcase with disassembled musical instruments which the children then have to figure out how to put back together in order to play the various sounds. Another way is to fill the suitcase with a series of mystery instruments which the children then have to figure out how to play.
Finally, a useful trick is to fill the suitcase with the kind of (child safety-friendly) instruments that you get in Christmas crackers and which often have collective tunes to be played which actually take the form of a game; bells, mini-maracas, harmonicas, kazoos etc.
Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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