Are you in the musical minority?

I was reading an article from the Herald Sun today. It discussed the use of musical DVDs to entertain children rather than CDs or live music making. Being a music teacher, I was intrigued. Dr. Peter de Vries' surveyed 63 parents of preschoolers under age five and found that 65% of parents played music to their children once a week, but only 29% regularly sang to their kids. "Singing with a young child allows for spontaneous vocal play, movement and drama that are not always possible with music CDs and DVDs. Some products with a visual component are non-interactive . . . and detract from musical events. These products can constrain spontaneous musical play . . . and parents need to be aware of their detrimental effects on young children's musical development."

I regularly talk about the value of family music making in my Kindermusik classes and feel that many of the families I teach regularly use music in their daily lives to interact. Therefore, seeing a figure like 29% is a bit disappointing to me. I mean, really, 29%!?! I would like to think that this static has to be incorrect. Are 71% of us really plopping our kids down in front of DVDs but never interacting musically with our kids? Are we actually not singing lullabies to them each night or skipping the old "pots and pans serenade" while you cook a meal? Adding music to your routine can be a great way to relieve stress, for you as well as your children; increase your child's development in every way; and draw your family closer as you learn to appreciate a beautiful world of music together. So let me here from you. Are we really a minority? What are some ways that you have incorporated music into your daily routine? Do you have a favorite family song or activity?

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