Towards the end of Colourstrings classes we take the time to lie down comfortably and listen to a few minutes of classical music. If you can make the time, try it at home. Really listening with your whole attention rather than hearing it running in the background can be immensely satisfying, relaxing, reinvigorating, enlivening….
As a small child, I listened to some of my parent’s classical LPs. (Choosing classical music was easy as there wasn’t anything else much other than a much-loved single of the Peter Rabbit song “We’re a happy family”). I had a few favourites that I listened to over and over and over again.
You may have noticed that children don’t always just lie still and listen…
Nor did I, believe me. When I had the room to myself I acted out the ballets, hid from the magician in the scary bits of The Firebird, used every cushion and toy available to make boats and characters for Britten’s Noye’s Fludde and generally made a great mess and had a great time. Some of those pieces I got to know and love so well I still listen to them in my head and they continue to be a source of solace and inspiration.
So if a piece of music grabs your child’s attention, try and get hold of a copy and play it often. They might be still enjoying it 40 years later.
Lying still while music is playing is a fabulous way of developing a listening attention and that’s what we encourage in class. But at home, if music inspires movement that’s great. Sometimes little ones can ramble about happily to music and they are still listening to it and soaking it up.