Every minute in the life of a toddler is all about making sense of what they touch, see, feel, and hear, then integrate those discoveries into their functional approach on the world. By introducing music to toddlers, you give them the opportunity to begin experimenting with all their senses at the same time. That music toddlers hear when you sing with them challenges them to put together pieces so they can dance and sing along with you. Any music provides your toddler an opportunity to learn, but world music toddlers hear creates new sensory information both you and the child can relate to. When your toddler becomes comfortable with music from around the world, they develop a view of the planet that is fascinating and fun.
Toddler’s Engagement with World Music
The toddler interacts with world music by way of clapping, singing, dancing, or patting. They pay close attention to emotions and actions of those grown-ups in the room at the time. If the adult is singing and dancing to the music, the toddler will pick up on that energy and follow suit. It is not so much important as to how well they play to the rhythm, but allowing them plenty of time to make that music tangible, exploring and experimenting until they get a beat they enjoy. Allowing the toddler to find their own way will bring joy to both of you together.
The World Music Environment
The best way to encourage your toddler to interact to music from around the world is to put them in an environment that breeds curiosity and values support. Creating this environment takes effort on the part of the parent, but there are ways you can easily incorporate this into the life of your toddler. Begin by continuously diversifying your own music choices. Start listening and enjoying music from around the world when you are in the car, home cleaning, or simply relaxing on the couch. Even though you have boundaries as far as music choices that have been engrained in your subconscious for decades, your toddler does not have these boundaries yet.
Introducing New Sounds
Start by taking your toddler to local festivals that celebrate different heritages. They are full of happy and proud people who sing and dance songs from their native lands. The new foods, music, sights, all will titillate your toddler and their imagination. If you have always wanted to visit a new country or speak a new language, use that opportunity to bring their native music into your home. You benefit from learning the language from the music, while your toddler broadens their own perspective concerning music. This new music toddlers hear for the first time will impact them a lifetime, even if it appears they are not paying close attention, it is seeping into their minds and they are learning.
This world music toddlers hear has little to do with understanding the genre and all about exploration. If you find joy in the sounds, your toddler will too, dancing and singing and drumming right along adults who seem to be loving life at this moment. The ultimate result here is your toddler is going to develop a unique way to view the world with constant wonder!