Parents and caregivers often attend music classes and music therapy sessions, and although those classes and sessions are not for them, their presence so important to the progress and growth of our clients and students.
It’s always important to engage everyone in the room through the music, and unfortunately sometimes the adults get forgotten. But parents and caregivers are more likely to engage with their children and return to music class and music therapy sessions if they are also playing instruments, singing along, and dancing.
Over the years, I’ve learned a few things that can help keep everybody engaged during music class or music therapy!
Tip #1: Explain what the goals and objectives are for each song.
This has been one of the most helpful and important things I’ve done to help engage parents and caregivers. Once you give a brief explanation of why you chose a song, and what you hope to accomplish, parents and caregivers often become motivated by that information.
Once they are aware of the goals, they will often engage with their children much more efficiently. I love seeing parents and caregivers become empowered by the information, and watching them directly work with their children and help them reach milestones in music class!
Tip #2: GIVE THEM INSTRUMENTS!
Or scarves, streamers, etc. Adults are ideal models for little kiddos, and because children often look to people who are familiar to them, they are the perfect people to model for their littles.
Beyond that, adults love to have fun in music class, too. How often do most adults have the chance to shake a maraca or blow a scarf off of their head?? It’s a treat for them to just have fun in a low-stress environment with their child, and in my opinion, it’s just wonderful that we can provide that for them!
Tip #3: Repetition is key!
Repetition is absolutely essential for children, but it is also important for adults. By repeating songs, parents and caregivers are able to learn the lyrics and melodies and can sing along.
In my experience, if parents and caregivers bring their kiddos to music class, it’s probably because they love music themselves, and will most likely jump on the chance to sing! I really enjoy hearing everyone singing along with their favorite songs, and listening intently when I throw a new one into the mix.
It can be a challenge to engage adults in music classes or music therapy sessions, but I hope these tips can help you ensure that everyone in your music classes or music therapy sessions is engaged, from the smallest kiddo to the most serious adult!
Let me know in the comments below: What has helped you engage parents and caregivers in music classes or music therapy sessions?