Children learn the language of music the same way they learn their native language. For this reason, your child needs to hear their music every day. Two kinds of listening are valuable: 1) Playing the music softly in the background; and 2) Actively listening to the songs, and sometimes singing along together. Try to play the entire recording 1–2 times daily, beginning one month before your child will start lessons.
As someone who is already “fluent” in the language of Western music, you will internalize the songs much more quickly than your child will. For this reason, your own mastery of the songs is not a good measurement of when your child has “listened enough.” They will need to listen to the recording for the entire time that they are studying in their current book.
If your child were to try to learn a song without having it imprinted in their mind, it would be as though they were trying to do a puzzle without knowing what picture it is. This is difficult for an adult, and even more so for a young person!
Your child will need to know not just “how the song goes,” but also have a clear mental image of the beautiful tone, timing, piano accompaniment, and tiny details of the performance. They are learning a language … not just the words, but also the accent and the subtleties of expression.
One of your biggest responsibilities as you begin lessons is to create a reliable and consistent listening routine. You will probably want to make one or two copies of the recording so that you can easily play it in the your child’s bedroom, living area, and the car. The better quality your listening routine, the better your child’s musical learning will be.
During the next two weeks, please work on setting up high-quality music players in the kitchen, living area and/or playroom, and your child’s bedroom. This will ensure that accomplishing the daily listening assignments is nearly effortless. 🙂