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Baby's First Instrument?

pattyClink 08 Jan 11 - 11:07 AM
olddude 08 Jan 11 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Grishka 08 Jan 11 - 01:44 PM
Little Robyn 08 Jan 11 - 02:31 PM
Bobert 08 Jan 11 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,Grishka 08 Jan 11 - 03:38 PM
Commander Crabbe 08 Jan 11 - 08:22 PM
Bobert 08 Jan 11 - 09:05 PM
Sandra in Sydney 08 Jan 11 - 10:45 PM
Don Firth 08 Jan 11 - 11:17 PM
katlaughing 08 Jan 11 - 11:32 PM
katlaughing 08 Jan 11 - 11:54 PM
open mike 09 Jan 11 - 03:00 AM
GUEST,Grishka 09 Jan 11 - 05:29 AM
Bobert 09 Jan 11 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,fretless 09 Jan 11 - 11:10 AM
SINSULL 09 Jan 11 - 01:02 PM
Bobert 09 Jan 11 - 03:55 PM
pattyClink 09 Jan 11 - 10:38 PM
Gurney 10 Jan 11 - 12:43 AM
mouldy 10 Jan 11 - 03:34 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 10 Jan 11 - 07:34 AM
Mrs.Duck 10 Jan 11 - 03:08 PM
Rex 10 Jan 11 - 03:16 PM
katlaughing 10 Jan 11 - 04:05 PM
paula t 10 Jan 11 - 07:16 PM
katlaughing 10 Jan 11 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,Rochelle 10 Jan 11 - 07:58 PM
GUEST,Rochelle 10 Jan 11 - 07:58 PM
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Subject: Baby's First Instrument?
From: pattyClink
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 11:07 AM

There is a one-year-old in the family who is unusually 'tuned in' to any vocals or music she hears.

I hate to think of her growing up in this digital world thinking from the start that music comes only from mommy singing or from little electronic boxes.

So, bearing in mind we're not trying to 'train' her to play anything, but just to have something other than pots and pans to make sounds with, what would be a good choice? A decent toy xylophone?


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: olddude
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 12:17 PM

I bought mine a uke, he plucks the thing and laughs and plucks it and laughs ... maybe a thought


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 01:44 PM

A metallophone or xylophone is a good idea. I had one myself, though not at one. A uke is much more complex, it's rather for being a wunderkind such as the YouTube "Ukulele boy" than becoming one.


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 02:31 PM

I bought a small (children's) el-cheapo guitar for the 4 year old and it's tuned into an open tuning for her.
It just stands against the wall and every time the 1 year old toddles past she has to stop and strum it a few times.
No-one's playing any left hand chords but pleasant sounds are coming from it.
We always had toy xylophones and toy pianos but they only seemed to encourage kids to bash them discordently!
There are some rattles that make interesting/musical sounds and kazoos if you show them how to sing into it, but otherwise a drum or tambourine is what interests them most (apart from the electronic keyboard that can play itself - they both come running when they hear that and want to work it themselves).
I guess any musical experience at that age......
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 02:41 PM

Google up "Orff Music"... My wife was an Orff Teacher before retiring and there are tons of instruments that kids can play before they are old enough for theory, etc...

West Music is a good source...

B~


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 03:38 PM

Forgot: listening to mommy singing is most important. Additionally, let the kids watch and listen to mommy and daddy playing their (the adults' and the kids') instruments, also auntie, uncle, granny, etc., individually and together.

Orff is no longer in vogue with educational scientists, but the instruments probably don't do any harm. (My non-scientific opinion.)


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 08:22 PM

I'm with Grishka.

Sing all the time.

When my eldest grandson first came to visit (Under 1 year) I would sit and play guitar and he was fascinated by it, he's now four and still points at the guitar which sits on it's stand next to the sofa waiting for grand dad to pick it up and play it.

CC


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 09:05 PM

Ya'll don't know much about "Orff Music", do ya???

I saw it work for years and years and the 100's of kids my wife taught over the years did just fine... Many ended up in bands... Many went on to major in music...

I mean, lets get real here... Average 3 and 4 year olds ain't gonna learn to play geetars or pianos until they get a little older... Orff gives them a foundation... It gets them playin' music when they are real young...

The only bad thing about Orff is that alot of people think they can teach it without knowing what then heck they are doing... Duhhhh!!!

There are not alot of really trained Orff teachers around... Lotta wantabees who don't understand it...

Anyone who has seen it work knows that it works... I've seen it work and as a musician myself going back some 50 years I am impressed when it is done in accordance with what Orff himself taught...

"Out of vogue" my butt... Bunch of lazy people who think they know how to teach kids by sittin' around jammin' with their friend while the kids play on the floor propagate that BS...

Grrrrrrrrt!!!

Ignorance!!!

B~


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 10:45 PM

my friends' daughter started with a xylaphone & I have photos of her at 10 months playing in a session. I noticed after few minutes she was not just thumping it with the striker but beating along with her parents & the other musos.

She is now 3 & I recently took pics of her banging her plastic drum (stick attached with a bright shiny plastic cord, very cute) & also applying her plectrum to her uke, her first real instrument recently bought by her aunt. She doesn't quite know what she's doing, & is probably imitating dad, tho he doesn't play any instrument across his lap. But she is 3.

Dad plays banjo, guitar & mouth organ & sings, mum plays percussion & shaky things, dad's sister is a blues mouth harp player & blues/folk piano player, dad's brother is a drummer, dad's dad is a singer, poet, classical & folk guitarist & mandolin player, dad's grandfather was also a muso.

sandra


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 11:17 PM

How about a toy piano, Schroeder style?

On the other hand, Schroeder, don't be to hasty. This might be Lucy some years later:   Oh, My!!

One the other hand, I have a friend (a musician) who got her two-year-old son a small Casio keyboard, showed him a couple of simple things, and he took off. He's learning to play and having a ball at it.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 11:32 PM

From the time he was born, my grandson who lives close by, was in our arms hearing me sing or my daughter singing and playing CDs of folk, old cow songs done by my dad and old 78s as well as other kinds of music. He had a child-sized fiddle for a year, but I took it back because he wasn't ready to practice much. He was three. About that time, or earlier, I started taking him to classes for moms, dads, grandmas, etc. We'd play games with the other kids, sing and dance. Lots of really fun and funny kids' songs which went really well with the instruments we had at home, plus they got introduced to shaky eggs, and other percussion instruments. He's always loved rhythm.

He also has his own cardboard lap dulcimer with really decent sound(!), kids' drums, a taiko drum which he shares with me, and, if now almost big enough at 7 for one of my old fiddles for which we need to get a bow rehaired. He's also had a plucked psaltery available to him, as well as a parlour banjo and a baritone uke. He just got his own soprano uke a couple of years ago. He loves the electronic keyboard and has since he was a toddler. Music is part of his every day life. I think the most important thing is to expose them to as much as possible without overwhelming them or being pushy.

"MamaKat"


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 11:54 PM

Forgot to say how much fun he's had with an old harmonica of mine,too.


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: open mike
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 03:00 AM

rhythm instruments seem to be more basic than all..and rattles and drums are often where youngsters start to feel the rhythms of music
the tunes come later.. something like a bongo or small djimbe could
be a good way for the kid to experience timing and be able to tap
along with music. Suzuki method often starts children out on violin
at an early age..and the first instrument is often a toy one made
of a butter box and ruler. the first step in suzuki is to listen..
and by hearing the music they learn to make the sounds they hear.
Also the strength of the suzuki method is that it is a group process.
the peer pressure of doing the learning with a group enforces the lessons.


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 05:29 AM

Bobert, please note that I neither claim any knowledge nor give any judgment of my own.

Parents who entrust their children to teachers of any particular "method" should keep their eyes open, that's all I say.


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 07:50 AM

That's true...

You wouldn't believe the training that my wife had to get to be a "certified" Orff teacher... Or the expense... Orff instruments are not cheap... Bass Metalaphone is like $1000-$1300... Throw in the xylaphones, glockenspiels, chimes, drums and another 50 miscellaneous unpitched percussion instruments and a good Orff teacher has $10,000 in instruments...

Throw in the training, not to mention that she also had a BA in Music, and you are talkin' serious $$$$ to be a certified Orff Teacher...

But when you hear what a group of 4 and 5 year olds can do, it's amazing... First time I heard one of their "performances" I was blown away...

B~


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: GUEST,fretless
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 11:10 AM

Suzuki starts as early as 3 or 4 and doesn't have to be limited to violin. Cello is much easier on the ears, for example. Suzuki Book 1, regardless of instrument, hsa tunes that are easily adaptable to traditional folk acoustic instruments and make for good opportunities for family music making if family members have even rudimentary playing skills.

But this thread started with reference to a one-year-old, and that's a world of difference from a child who is 3. At 1, I'd foucs on music play comprising singing along together and clapping in time to the music, banging on anything that keeps to the beat, and littering the house with old and non-precious instruments of any kind that a child can pick up, embrace, and play with...and that are of such quality that you won't worry about having destroyed in the course of experimental play.


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: SINSULL
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 01:02 PM

Dare I say it? A shaky egg so baby can keep rhythm to the music? When I was a child my aunt gave me a set of bells - plastic, brightly colored and tuned so that you could play a song from a sheet just by following the colors. Wish I had them today.
Mary


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 03:55 PM

Shaky eggs are great, Kat... Baby rattles do the same thing...


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: pattyClink
Date: 09 Jan 11 - 10:38 PM

Thanks for all the great ideas!


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: Gurney
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 12:43 AM

The only advice I have is, don't spend too much money!
I bought a somewhat pricy xylophone, -not really a toy- thinking it would last. It has been played for about 40mins in the last 25 years.....and that 40mins was 25 years ago!


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: mouldy
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 03:34 AM

One of the first things they do his hit and shake stuff.

My granddaughter (now just 2) has had the use of a toy (but in tune) xylophone, and various accumulated tambourine/drum-type stuff at my house from just over a year old. It's all in a basket and she picks out what she wants. I have an Uzbekh hand drum and a small djembe type drum in that lot, an African made two-tone cow bell and lots of shakey stuff. Empty presentation boxes (metal ended) from booze bottles also make good drums. Rhythm will develop in time. She has been going to "baby ballet" since about 6 months, and got drums, shakers and tambourines to use there. The main thing is to play or sing along with them if possible.
Her dad plays rock guitar, and he sat her on his knee with a plectrum and taught her to strum while he formed a chord. He also has a digital drum kit - she hits stuff quite hard now!

Andrea

Andrea


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 07:34 AM

Don't get a cheap toy that is not in tune/won't play an entire scale.
I remember being bitterly dissapointed at an early age (less than 3 years old) that my xylophone was out of tune and didn't have the black notes of the scale!


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 03:08 PM

We have had all sorts of instruments over the years. One of my favourites for very young was a drum that on the reverse had three tuned notes by Fisher Price. We also had a selection of shakey rattley jingly style instruments for Early learning and some shaky fruit and veg (banana, courgette)which the kids and I still use when out with Scratch Morris. Rowan was always into drums and is now taking lessons although he also played violin and guitar for a while too. Maddie and Molly both started violin at around five and are still playing (16 and 11). We took them to sessions at an early age and they loved the music and will on occasion stand up and sing.


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: Rex
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 03:16 PM

When my oldest son was going to be one year old, I wanted to build an instrument for him. But what can a one year old do? Beat a drum. So I hollowed out a log and cut up rawhide for straps and drumhead. I covered a stick with cloth and softer leather for the beater. He could work with that. At two years, I made what I call a foot harp. It is roughly the shape of a foot, light piano wire on zither pegs screwed into hardwood, anchored at the other end. The whole thing was 11 strings, I think, tuned in a pentatonic scale. Any sequence sounds good. That was also time for the xylaphone and the harmonica. (I concur MamaKat) At three I got a cheap two octave keyboard and disabled the rhythm and accompanyment buttons to discourage just having it play by itself. My younger son was born then and so repeat. They both play violin now, better than their ol man, and other instruments. It was a good start.

Rex


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 04:05 PM

They must be darn good to play better than you. Rex!:-)


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: paula t
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 07:16 PM

We made all sorts of instruments available to discover and then left them to play.We wired open our piano lid so there wouldn't be any trapped fingers, left out a cheap guitar which was just for them to play. We left a very small keyboard on the floor, made shaky things together from tins filled with rice and pasta and enjoyed trying to change the sounds by filling them with different things. A cupboard in the kitchen was left without a lock and filled with tins, tupperware boxes, spoons etc. for them to get out and play whenever and however they wanted - as long as it was safe!. They joined in - whether invited or not- when we were singing and playing and enjoyed using a child's tape recorder and microphone on their own to perform into and then listen to. We recently discovered some of their own songs, from when Sarah was 5 and Kathryn was 2, on an old cassette. They remembered the day they made them up and recorded them. I'd never heard them before!
We didn't attempt to teach them because we felt that would take away the sheer joy and spontaneity of making their own sounds.

as you can imagine,our house was (and still is) absolute bedlam! Those were the days!


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 07:26 PM

A couple of years ago, my grandson planned out, directed, and starred in his own video to teach "little kids" how to fill glasses with water and make music with them. It was a blast as he did a storyboard without knowing how to write, so we used pictures. It was a lot of fun and, I believe, grew out of having access to all kinds of things, as others have noted, with which to make music.


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: GUEST,Rochelle
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 07:58 PM

Recorders are great, xylophone is also quite great. Aw, the little guitar sounds adorable, I'd also suggest getting a keyboard. (a little kiddie one that is)

Pianos are the best. I don't know if you have a piano or if it would be much too pricey for you, but it's a great instrument to bring families together. (I would suggest looking for someone who is looking to get rid of their old piano and fixing it up) Singing carols during the holidays, having your children learn on it and whatnot. When I was a kid, some of my fondest memories were dancing around to my mother playing classical music on the piano. I also tinkered with the piano keys trying to write my own music, I learned how to play on it. There's just something communal about it, I also find that children are utterly fascinated by pianos for some reason.


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Subject: RE: Baby's First Instrument?
From: GUEST,Rochelle
Date: 10 Jan 11 - 07:58 PM

Recorders are great, xylophone is also quite great. Aw, the little guitar sounds adorable, I'd also suggest getting a keyboard. (a little kiddie one that is)

Pianos are the best. I don't know if you have a piano or if it would be much too pricey for you, but it's a great instrument to bring families together. (I would suggest looking for someone who is looking to get rid of their old piano and fixing it up) Singing carols during the holidays, having your children learn on it and whatnot. When I was a kid, some of my fondest memories were dancing around to my mother playing classical music on the piano. I also tinkered with the piano keys trying to write my own music, I learned how to play on it. There's just something communal about it, I also find that children are utterly fascinated by pianos for some reason.


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