Music and singing bring people together. We sing for birthdays, religious or secular celebrations, and we sing just to have fun. Using our voices in song is an important part of life. This is true for your child who has a hearing loss, too. Not only is it fun, but it’s beneficial!
Music is like speech because we use rhythm, loud and soft voices, and high and low pitch sounds as we sing. For a young child with a hearing loss, using the voice in song will help in developing good speech skills. Take a few minutes today to think about the many opportunities you have to sing together, and then think of even more. How can you make singing a part of your life?
You might begin with songs for daily routines. Many children’s programs feature a “Clean Up‚” song; this is just perfect for you to sing to your child at any time during the day. Start by singing slowly so your little one will learn the song more easily. What about a song for nap time? Maybe a dinner time song will help your child transition from play to the kitchen table. You can make up your own melody and words, or you can use a familiar tune with words appropriate for the action. Use your song every day.
Songs for play time can also be enjoyed while your child plays with his toys every day. Maybe a toy car is a favorite and you can sing: “Zoom Zoom goes the car. Zoom Zoom, the car goes far.” Singing to a doll is another excellent way to incorporate song into play. Listen as your youngster plays. Is your family’s dinner time song part of her tea party?
Riding in the car is much more fun when the family is singing together. This is the time to bring out your CDs. Some families enjoy “oldies” that have been favorites for a long time. Others bring the children’s CDs and sing along with them. Whatever you do, repeat the songs so that your little one has an opportunity to learn the melody and can approximate some words.
You want your child to be an active participant in school, church and community activities. School songs, church songs and patriotic songs are a natural and fun way for him to participate. You can talk to the teacher about songs that the children enjoy in school or church school, and spend some time singing them during the week. Your child will become comfortable with them and will try to join the class in singing. Patriotic songs are fun to sing while having a little family parade through the house and they will prepare your youngster for community celebrations.
There are other benefits to encouraging your child to sing. New vocabulary can be introduced. Sequencing can be learned as you make up a song while you cook: “First we put in milk and then we add the flour.‚” And what about counting? You can sing: “One, two, three four, tell me if you want some more!”
The opportunities to sing are endless, and so are the benefits. Language and speech skills are developed by song, so enjoy singing. This is a wonderful way to bring the whole family together and have fun.