It’s never too early for music exposure! In fact, research shows that early music education can even accelerate brain development in young kids. Music teaches children how to connect their bodies with sound while also providing context for words and emotional development. With this in mind, it’s a wonderful reason and opportunity for studio owners to expand their offerings to include music classes for toddlers.
For parents who come across this article, we invite you to use these ideas to keep your kids busy at home! Increasing your toddlers’ exposure to music and movement will only improve their ability to learn and grow.
The Basics of Music Classes For Toddlers
If you’re used to teaching school-aged children, you may be wondering where to even begin. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to keep it simple! Music classes for toddlers are considered the most basic level of music education. Don’t dive into music theory or any advanced concepts.
Music lessons for toddlers should explore primary concepts in music, including:
- Fast vs. slow tempo and steady beats
- The varying emotions of musical pieces
- Exposure to basic words or familiar sounds
- Small instrument play for coordination and cause/effect
- Discovery and movement with hula hoops, scarves, and other props
These basic concepts in music and movement will help young children improve their coordination and motor skills. Plus, they will learn to recognize music sequences and patterns, which can help with more advanced instrument training in the years to come.
Developing Music Lesson Plans For Toddlers
When you are developing music lesson plans for toddlers, the goal is to keep it lighthearted and straightforward. Most importantly, you want them to have fun and enjoy music!
These are a few of our favorite activities to add to your lesson plans that will keep your studio students (and their parents) coming back for more!
Instrument petting zoo
From egg shakers to tambourines, and even bongo drums, gather all of the musical instruments you have in your studio. Lay them out in a circle and give your toddlers time to wander around and try each one.
They will love experimenting with the different sounds each one can make. Plus, they will sense the rush of hearing a large assortment of instruments together at once. (Trust us, it will be a cacophony!) This also gives them a chance to explore and practice independence.
Sing important words and phrases
The toddler years are prime for teaching important concepts in socialization, etiquette, and manners. For example, saying please and thank you, cleaning up toys, and sharing with others.
There is no shortage of songs that hone in on these important words and phrases. Feeling creative? You can even make up your own! Set aside a little time during each class to teach one of these helpful jingles. The parents will thank you for it as well.
As we previously mentioned, props have a way of making music come alive for toddlers. Silk scarves, batons, hula hoops, and even bubbles are all great options. Children enjoy hearing music and experiencing something tangible at the same time.
This is also another opportunity for teaching contrasting concepts, such as high and low or fast and slow. For example, ask them to leave the hula hoop on the ground and explore dancing inside and outside of it during different sequences in the music. Move to music that switches tempos and ask them to wave their scarves as fast or as slow as the music.
Finding The Best Toddler Music
While you probably have your own taste and preferences in music, toddlers are still taking it all in. So, what type of toddler music will really resonate? Start off with what is familiar to them. Chances are, they probably have toys and books that explore nursery rhymes. Tunes like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “I’m A Little Tea Pot” provide a frame of reference because they have probably already heard these songs a time or two.
As your children continue to progress and show interest in various musical styles, consider adding classical music into the mix. One of the best ways to present this exposure is through simple background music. If they are already exploring small instruments or sensory objects, such as scarves, play a little classical music in the background.
Still looking for more ideas to add to your music lessons for toddlers? Consider this list of songs from The National Association for Music Education (NAFME). The Get America Singing … Again! campaign, launched in 1995, aimed to establish a common song repertoire for classrooms and community groups.
As always, you can also survey parents. What musical movies are their toddlers listening to on repeat? What animals are they fascinated with right now? Bring in related songs based on these answers.
Navigating Online Music Classes For Toddlers
With an increasing number of people searching for online music classes for toddlers, it’s important to position your studio for this increased demand. Meet your students where they are by expanding into this territory. Teaching music remotely can provide a range of benefits and technology provides limitless creative possibilities.
Because this age range is still so young, you will want to focus on ensuring that your studio technology is up to speed, and parents are willing participants. Set up a space where students can see you clearly and hear the music in a way that is directly into their own speakers. Treat your virtual classes like they are in-person classes by encouraging students to get up and move. If possible, provide materials ahead of time. Perhaps a nursery rhyme book and a small instrument to refer to and use during class.
At Studio Director, we understand this need to expand into online music classes for toddlers. We facilitate virtual classrooms by making it easy to schedule and share online classes with the video streaming platform of your choice. Whether you prefer Zoom, Google, or Facebook, your students will have simple access with an online class link.
Find More Time To Focus On Teaching
Beyond virtual classrooms, Studio Director provides music studio management software that can help you run a more streamlined studio. From managing class schedules to enrolling students, our software works as your silent business partner.