When it comes to music and the benefits it holds for young people and adults alike, we could go on and on. A recent article published by The Guardian discusses how jazz music has a calming and soothing effect on young children and how listening to the same can be beneficial.
Research even suggests that jazz music can actually help develop analytical and critical thinking skills in children. All this is nothing short of fascinating and spectacular.
Exposing Your Children to Jazz: How to Do It?
Our live jazz band specializes in original or traditional jazz from the 20s. This includes styles like swing, ragtime and of course our dear Dixieland. Parents today sometimes wonder how to help their children develop and understanding and appreciation of jazz music. When it comes to exposure, here’s how most of us from the Razmajazz Dixieland Band got ours!
Listening to Music
The first thing you want to do in order to expose your young ones to jazz music is to make them listen to it. Now here’s the thing. Listening does not mean instructing them to sit down and put something on. One of the best things about children is that they tend to copy their parents. All you need to do is have some jazz music playing in the home when they’re around.
Put on some jazz during Sunday home cleaning. Play a jazz album while having lemonade on the porch on a pleasant day. Have it playing in the background while you’re eating dinner. The more jazz you have playing around, the more your children will hear it. Eventually, they will get curious, ask you what it is, and possibly start exploring the genre on their own time. Remember, when it comes to exposure, making them listen is the first step.
Once your children develop basic appreciation for the genre and have explored the same, they may be tempted to experiment with an instrument. Don’t discourage them. Even if they choose something loud and difficult to play, let them have at it.
Listening to jazz music is one thing, but the joy of being able to mimic sounds and harmony or even understand the basics of playing and instrument is something else. Not only will instrumental experimentation help them learn a new skill, it will also help them appreciate the effort and skill that goes into composing music.
Education and Encouragement
There will be many times when your child may feel like jazz music is just too much and that’s okay. Believe us, there are adults who have trouble getting their heads around the genre. What you can do as a parent, is encourage them and offer more exposure. Make them listen to different styles and compositions as well as different jazz artists. If they’re struggling with the instrument they have chosen, encourage and support them.
Make the process fun and enjoyable and they will develop a love for jazz very organically.
Playing with the Band
Unless your child is some kind of prodigy, it might take them a bit to get comfortable with the instrument they have chosen. Playing jazz harmonies is hard work; however playing anything can be helpful. You can play folk and still appreciate and develop a love for jazz.
What we’re saying here is that once your kids develop a basic grasp of music, let them jam a little. This could be by joining a school band, with their siblings or with you if you play. If they find the right company, they can even experiment with basic jazz progressions (even though getting there may take time). In any case, playing music with others is always a good way to get deeper into it.
Show Them What it’s Like
Finally, once you’ve done all the things above, take your children out for a live jazz performance. Any music lover will tell you, listening to a composition is beautiful but watching musicians play live is nothing short of mind blowing and inspirational!
Either take your children for a live show or hire a live jazz band for an event and make sure your young ones get a taste. Many of the members of our own band were inspired by senior musicians they saw play live when growing up.
Human civilization has made lots of mistakes but it’s also achieved some spectacular and noteworthy feats. Among other things, music represents the best of who we are as a species and jazz represents some of the best of what music has to offer.
Make your kids listen to some jazz, encourage their curiosity, jam with them if you can, educate them on what’s out there and take them for a live show or two. Do all that and chances are you’ll have your own little jazz aficionados in no time!