Friday, June 24, 2011

My grandchild is coming to visit...

"My five-year-old grandson will be visiting us next week and we'd love to take to some educational and fun music events - what types of events would you suggest and where might I find them?"

As it is summer time, my first suggestion is to see if there are any outdoor concerts in your area. This time of year is a perfect time to introduce your child or grandchild to classical music or band music or really any kind of live music because there are outdoor concerts. Whether you are fortunate enough to be in the Berkshires in Massachusetts with Tanglewood nearby or Ravinia outside of Chicago or a small town in Maine that has a band shell, you have the wonderful opportunity to enjoy music in an informal setting where a bit of squirming is acceptable. It is very difficult for many children to sit still, but out on a lawn where they can lie on a blanket and look at the stars or even play scrabble as they listen, will give them memories that will last for a lifetime.
Our summer community has had folksinging for children of all ages Tuesday evening for 40 years. Many parents who remember coming as children are now bringing their children. You do not need to know the songs to come; you just come and sing along and suddenly children know all the words. Ask around to see if one of these exists in your community.
Make it a project to teach your grandchildren at least one song that you learned as a child. My father taught my sons the Irish song "Nobody knows the trouble that was there, nobody know I do declare." It was a song that his grandfather taught him and I am certain that it is the song that they will teach their children - that will be a 5th generation song.
Be sure to ask your grandchildren to teach you a song they have learned in school this year.
Finally, put music on that you like as you are baking cookies or finger-painting. Part of getting to know you better is learning what music you as a grandparent likes.

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