I spend a lot of time singing with my boys. I thought for sure that Aiden would grow into singing, but he’s been slow to begin it. Just like with his song actions, he became very reticent about developing his singing skills. For a few months, we heard him singing a line or two in his crib before bed, but it was not a phase that lasted long. Since then, we have encouraged him to sing or at least fill in the words in songs, though I didn’t want to press the issue (since he was obviously shy about it). Still, I continued to sing. Oddly enough, he still likes it when I sing children’s songs even though he quite dislikes any children’s music I play on the stereo.
Perhaps thanks to preschool, where all kids are encouraged to participate in circle time, Aiden has begun to open up with his singing. His hand motions came back last year when he began preschool and this year he has begun to sing!! Just recently I was able to coax him into singing twice in the bath (second time recorded below) and today he sang several songs with me in the car!
He’s not very confident of his singing yet – he says he doesn’t know the words – but I’m going to try to build up his confidence with practice. Damien loves to hear Aiden in the car so it will be a great time to do it.
Last August, a family friend came to our house to offer a music and movement class to Aiden and some of his friends. Somehow, we temporarily misplaced those photos, only recently finding them again when I was completing Aiden’s age 1-2 album. I’m now finally able to review our fun afternoon!
Gabriela Moutal, a lifelong dancer, has been teaching creative movement for 25 years. Her Movement Studio specializes in classes for kids age 2-9, focusing on teaching that encourages movement, rhythm and the exploration of music. The class used a variety of materials, from feathers to scarves, and incorporated song with movement. The toddlers were free to explore the materials in suggested ways or in their own ways. There was a tunnel that all the kids loved, as well as a toy bin that was fun to climb into.
Aiden is making a lot of progress when he’s singing. He’s most likely to sing when not in the spotlight. His most common stage is his crib – he often sings before bedtime or in the morning.
Aiden doesn’t sing many songs from start to finish unassisted, but will sing bits on his own. The first two lines are most common before he gets distracted.
Aiden enjoys singing Twinkle Twinkle, Hurry Hurry Drive the Firetruck, Hello Everybody, Zoom Zoom and the Bananas Song. Sometimes a song he’s been thinking about will crop up, like the ABCs or Wheels on The Bus.
Just today, Aiden was in his crib when I hear: “Aiden want to sing The Wheels on the Bus. The wheels on the bus goes round and round. The wheels on the bus go round and round. Awwwww wheels not working. Not working anymore. Probably not working.”
As you can see, easily distracted. He always ends up on a tangent in his pretend world making up stories.
Aiden will also make up songs. “Aiden shoes on. Aiden shoes off. Aiden shoes on. Aiden shoes off.” When he then said: “Mommy, sing Aiden’s shoe song!”, I clued in that he was doing more than just babbling. Super cute.
It’s clear Aiden wants to sing more. He will often move his lips when someone sings, trying to learn the words perhaps. Or lip sync? Cute though. He’s also participating more now that he’s started preschool once a week (my guess).
Aiden is not your typical toddler when it comes to his music preferences. He rarely participates in toddler song times, though he does enjoy them. We attend music classes and Aiden enjoys playing with the instruments and being a part of the songs. He doesn’t participate in actions or songs unless he has an instrument, but that’s ok.
Despite all this, Aiden has a very strong interest in music and very strong music preferences. We almost never listen to the dozens of kids CDs we have in our media library, and it’s been that way for about 6 months or so. Same goes for the car. He enjoys kids music at other kids’ houses (even the same CDs) and loved the CD of kids singing Christmas songs for the holidays. I used to think that perhaps Aiden got tired of kids music, or just wanted to assert himself by negation, but now I think it’s more complicated.
I think Aiden’s musical preferences simply changed. Aiden’s preference first asserted itself in the car, when he’d ask for piano music or guitar music or violin music. When I say ‘ask’, I mean more specifically: would throw a fit if I couldn’t find classical music featuring that instrument. Now, he’s pretty much fine with any kind of classical music. He didn’t want classical music at home for a long time (he spent a month or so arguing every music choice at home), but now he does.
Aiden loves to listen to the music and identify the instruments playing. Just this morning I turned on CBC Radio 2 and Aiden exclaimed:
“Classical music! Louder! Violin music. Flutes too. More louder!”
We have been searching for ways to expand on Aiden’s obvious interest in classical music but it’s been rather challenging. Most toddler-specific or even youth-specific music instruction videos will use cartoons or characters. While I’m sure he’d be fine with that, Ianiv and I are of the opinion that he’d love equally some videos about actual musicians playing and demonstrating their instruments for a younger audience.
It’s been an interesting musical journey with Aiden!
Although we don’t watch tv with Aiden yet, he does watch a few videos on YouTube. I randomly came across this Phonics Alphabet song and it’s been a hit with Aiden. Although he enjoys the video, he definitely enjoys my versions more. He asks me to sing most of the time we’re in the car, and this is a fun (and long) addition.
As just a simple alphabet song, you can replace the examples with any word of your choice, so it’s only the tune that you need to listen to.