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Munchkins And Music

Promoting Music Education

Updated: 2017-12-06T21:16:04.246-08:00


Calming Your Children--the Power of Music


You can visit Seven Clown Circus today and read my post titled Calming Your Children--the Power of Music:

"I walk in the door after a long day of running errands with my cranky and tired kids. I drop the groceries on the counter and sigh as I think of the things I need to do before I can put these tired kids to bed...

Studies at
Columbia University shows that surgeons who use music during operations, on average, were “mellower and better performers in the operating room.”...

So, what type of music will help calm your child?..."

Angie is awesome so make sure to visit her again and again!!

Wordless/ful Wednesday


What Musical Instrument Am I?(image)
Answer to last Wordless/ful Wednesday: Didgeridoo
Yes, you guessed right!! The Didgeridoo is a wind instrument from Australia. The Didgeridoo is made from Eucalyptus trees that have been hallowed out from termites. The didgeridoo has been around for about 1500 years and is one of the oldest wind instruments. To play the didgeridoo a player will vibrate their lips and blow air against a wax mouthpiece to produce a sound. A didgeridoo player uses a technique called circular breathing, which is a technique that many brass players use. To circular breathe, a player will breathe in through their nose and blow air out of their mouth at the same time. By using this technique, players can play their instrument without moving their mouth off of the mouth piece to take a breath. (
Below is an example of a didgeridoo being played:

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Boom Boom Ain't it Great to be Crazy?



Here is a fun song I use to sing as a kid around the camp fire:

Boom Boom Ain't it Great to be Crazy?

A horse and a flea and three blind mice
Sat on a curbstone shooting dice
The horse he slipped and fell on the flea
"Whoops," said the flea, "There's a horse on me!"

Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?
Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?
Giddy and foolish the whole day through
Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?

Way down South where bananas grow
A flea stepped on an elephant's toe
The elephant cried, with tears in his eyes
"Why don't you pick on someone your own size?"

Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?
Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?
Giddy and foolish the whole day through
Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?

Way up North where there's ice and snow
There lived a penguin and his name was Joe
He got so tired of black and white
He wore pink slacks to the dance last night!

Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?
Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?
Giddy and foolish the whole day through
Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?

Eli, Eli had some socks
A dollar a pair and a nickel a box
The more you wear 'em the better they get
And you put 'em in the water and they don't get wet!

Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?
Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?
Giddy and foolish the whole day through
Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?

Called myself on the telephone
Just to hear that golden tone
Asked myself out for a date
Said be ready 'bout half-past eight!

Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?
Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?
Giddy and foolish the whole day through
Boom, boom, ain't it great to be crazy?
Listen Here (Click on number 12 to hear the song.)

Winter Activities for Toddlers in Anchorage Alaska


1. Go to story time at the Alaska Zoo every Wednesday at 10:30 A.M. Story time is in a heated green room and lasts about 30 minutes. Every week the zoo staff teaches about a different animal. (Bundle up during the winter because the children will go outside to see the animals.) A family zoo pass costs $75.00 for a 1 year membership.2. Attend an art class at the Dimond Center Mall. On Wednesday from 12:00 to 1:00 P.M. you can take your toddler to a craft class. The class is located right across from the Dimond Regal Theaters on the third floor in the Dimond Center Mall. There is no need to call ahead so just show up, the class is free!3. Take Ice Skating lessons on Tuesday and Saturday. Classes are offered to toddlers ages 3 and up at the Ben Boeke Ice Arena. The classes are $100.00 for 2 months of lessons. The lessons include the ice skates and open family skate times. The teachers are really nice and make the children feel comfortable in the skates and on the ice.4. Go Swimming at H2Oaisis Toddler Swim every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11:00 A.M. - 2:00 P.M. The cost is $6.00 for children ages 1 and up. Parents get in free.5. Burn off energy at the Arctic Gym Open Play Time Monday - Friday from 9:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M. for children ages 2-11. The kids can play and exercise on 2 big trampolines, a foam pit, lowered balance beams and bars, and big exercise balls. The cost is $5.00 a child. Parents get in free.6. The Children's Gallery at the Anchorage Museum is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10 A.M. - 6 P.M. and Sunday from noon- 6 P.M. The Children's Gallery offers activities and exhibits for your toddlers to play in and to look at. Admission is $8.00 for adults and free for children.7. Go to Story Time at the Loussac Library. The Loussac Library offers Mothergoose for children ages 0-18 months and Lapsit for children ages 18 months - 3 years of age. The story tellers read great books and sing fun songs to keep your toddlers entertained.8. Borders Books and Barnes and Noble offer story times and free store events every month. Check out Boarders Books calender here. Check out Barnes and Noble's calendar here.9. Attend Pre-School Science Hour at the Anchorage Imaginarium on Mondays at 10 A.M. and 11:30 A.M. During Science Hour toddlers will learn different things about science and then make a craft about what they learned.11. Visit Kardio Kids at The Alaska Club. Kardio Kids is for children ages 3 - 5 and is on Monday and Wednesday at 10:45 A.M. Kardio Kids is a fitness class that helps your toddlers to exercise and release energy.12. Visit animals at Petco. Petco has a grooming service with big windows so your toddler can watch the animals being groomed. Petco also has fish, birds, amphibians, and reptiles that are fun to watch.13. Take your toddler to see a music concert. The Anchorage Concert Association offers concerts every month to take your toddlers to. This is a great way to integrate music into your toddlers life.14. Enroll your toddler in ballet lessons at the Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy. The Academy offers a Creative Movement class for children ages 3 and 4 on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.15. Enroll your toddler in dance lessons at the Children's Dance Theatre or the Alaska Dance Theatre. There are ballet classes, creative movement classes, and the Children's Dance Theatre offers a Moms and Me class. Check out their websites for more information.16. Enroll your toddler in swim lessons. There are multiple swim class locations in Anchorage to enroll your child in. Swim Like a Fish Foundation even offers scholarships for those children who meet low income guidelines.17. Pet a reindeer, watch a video, and get a treat at Alaska Wild Berry Products. Alaska Wild Berry Products sells chocolates, jams, smoked salmon, sausages, and has a fun theater and park to visit.18. Play and make crafts at the Spenard Community Recreation Center. The Spenard Community Recreation Center offers toddle time for children ages 0-2 years old an[...]



Welcome to the Ultimate Blog Party 2009 put on by 5 Minutes for Mom, thanks for stopping by, I love meeting new people! Please make yourself at home and help yourself to some fun games, music, karaoke, and dancing (I know you can't stay still listening to this music!) There is plenty for all!Let me introduce myself, I'm Andrea, wife, mom, musician, music teacher, and creator of Munchkins and Music, a blog dedicated to helping mom's teach music to their children. I feel that education in music is "most sovereign" and those who learn music will reap from it's many benefits. I have a bachelors degree in music education and have been playing music since I was 8 years old. Please feel free to browse around, you will find:New songs to teach your childrenMusic craftsInformation on musical instrumentsMusic lessonsMusical reviewsMusic activitiesAnd much more!While you're here, pull up a chair and play some fun on-line music games:Notes Drums Play Music Kid's PianoTry some Karaoke (Turn off the music on my sidebar first) :And please feel free to leave a comment so I can come and visit you at your party!And now for the prizes:I'm feeling lucky, so if I won a prize here would be my top 3 choices:1) #1 100.00 gift certificate to either Pedal Cars or A Rocking Horse to Love from 5 Minutes for Mom. 2) #58 Kitchen Aid Artisan and Stand Mixer from Mom's who Think.3)# USC 57 Personalized Graphic Button Design from Extravagant Grace Designs. Here are other choices I would choose:19, 101, 45, 49, 90, 106, or any target gift certificate. Of course if I won anything I would be excited! Thanks 5 Minutes for Mom![...]

Kitchen Rock


When I am cooking dinner I have found that the best activity to keep my children entertained is letting them bang on pots. We call this activity Kitchen Rock and play it often, so I decided to make it a learning experience to help teach my children about music.Here are a few ideas to help spice up Kitchen Rock:1. Get out a variety of pans, bowls, and pitchers. You can use metal, plastic, or anything else that won't break.2. Get out a variety of utensils for your child to hit the pans with (each utensil produces a different sound.)3. Teach your child about tempo by demonstrating the difference between largo and presto. For an older child you can teach him or her the 7 basic tempo markings:Largo -- very slow (40 - 60 beats per minute)Larghetto -- rather broadly (60 - 66 beats per minute)Adagio -- slow and stately (66 - 76 bpm)Andante -- at a walking pace (76 - 108 bpm)Moderato -- Moderately (108 - 120 bpm)Allegro -- fast and bright (120 - 168 bpm)Presto -- very fast (168 - 200 bpm)Once your child learns the tempo markings you can quiz your child by calling out a tempo and having him or her play that tempo.4. Teach your child about dynamics by demonstrating the difference between piano and forte. Quiz your child by asking him or her to demonstrate the difference between the two dynamics. For an older child you can teach him or her about the 6 different dynamic markings: 1. pianissimo/pp (very soft)2. piano/p (soft)3. mezzo-piano/mp (moderately soft)4. mezzo-forte/mf (moderately loud)5. forte/f (loud)6. fortissimo/ff (very loud)5. Turn on different styles of music and let your child play along. Show your child how you would play the pan differently while listening to slow/soft music vs. fast/loud music. 6. Have fun! [...]

Wordless/ful Wednesday


What Musical Instrument am I?


Answer to last Wordless/ful Wednesday: Tambourine


The Tambourine is a percussion instrument made out of plastic or wood with metal jingles built in the frame. The tambourine can be made with or without a drum head and can come in many different shapes (although the most common shape is round.) The Tambourine is played many different ways, some of the ways are shaking, stroking, or striking. There is also an advanced technique used to play the tambourine called the thumb roll where players will take their finger or thumb and run it across the head of the tambourine to create a fast jingle sound.

The tambourine was originally from Portugal and brought to Brazil by Portuguese settlers. The tambourine is played in many forms of music including jazz and classical.(

Below is an example of the tambourine being played:


Songs for Children


(image) Baby Birdie

Note: This is a "scale song" - each line gets one note of the do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti do scale. You can review this scale here.

(sing the do pitch for each word) Here's a baby birdie (crouch down low, head down)

(re) Hatching from his shell

(mi) Out pops his head, (head pops up)

(fa) Then comes his tail (tail pops up)

(sol) Now his legs he stretches (stand up)

(la) His wings he gives a flap (flap arms)

(ti) Then he flies and flies and flies (twirl around and around)

(do) Now what do you think of that?

(do) Down, (sol) down, (mi) down,..........(do) BOOM! (fall down)

(This great song is from kids out and about)

Wordless/ful Wednesday


Hello everyone! Sorry I haven't posted for a few months. Things have been really busy and crazy. But I am back and very happy to be posting again! Hope you are all doing well! Let's see if you can guess this next instrument...

What Musical Instrument Am I?


Answer to last Wordless/ful Wednesday:

Yes, you all guessed this right! The accoridon! The accordion, made in Berlin in 1822, is a hand held free-reed aerophone instrument (meaning the sound is produced by air pushing past a vibrating reed). An accordion is played by compressing and expanding a bellows, and pressing keys which cause the valves to open. The accordion is played in Europe, North America, and South America. The accordion is mainly played in folk, jazz, and classical music. (

Below is an example of what an accordion sounds like:

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Wordless/ful Wednesday


What Musical Instrument Am I?


(image) Answer to last Wordless/ful Wednesday: Steel pan/drum

A steel pan is a chromatically tuned percussion instrument that was originally made from a 55 gallon oil container. The steel pan is originally from Trinidad and was used as a form of communication between African slaves. The steel pan was outlawed by the British government, however, by the 1940's steel drums were allowed and were played at Carnivals.

Today, steel pans are made from flat sheet metal and molded into the shape of a bowl using hammers. Steel pans today are tuned with electronic tuners and need to be tuned 1-2 times a year. Steel pans are made into soprano, alto, tenor, and bass pans. They can be played solo or in a steel pan band.

Below is an example of a steel pan:

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(Felix Walroud on the Steel Pan)

Christmas Songs for Children


This song is so beautiful and this little 4 year old girl is amazing!!

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Sleep Well, Little Children

A.Bergman L.Klatzkin

Sleep well, little children,
wherever you are;
Tomorrow is Christmas
beneath every star.
Soon the snowflakes will fall
and tomorrow you'll see
Every wish, one and all,
waiting under the tree.
Sleep well, little children,
pleasant dreams through the night;
Tomorrow is Christmas,
all merry and bright.
Soon you'll hear the bells ring,
time for dreams to come true
As the world wakes to bring
Merry Christmas to you.

Music Toys for Kids on Christmas


WFMW: Here is a list of music toys/gifts I would recommend giving your children this year for Christmas. You can also read here for tips on buying musical toys.Birth – 12 months:1. Music Mobiles are great for new babies because they introduce music to your child in calming way. Your baby can look up at the mobile and easily fall asleep to the wonderful sounds! Some popular ones are the Jungle Tales Mobile and the Tiny Love Symphony-in-Motion Mobile.2. The Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube is a great toy because it teaches babies how sounds are made by letting your baby push the buttons to add and subtract instruments in many different songs. This cube also teaches about tempo through the flashing lights.3. Drums and egg shakers are fun for babies to use because they expose babies to real-like instruments, and they keep your babies entertained! 4. The Baby Grand Piano--Laugh and Learn is a lot of fun for babies because it is interactive and teaches babies about pitch through the piano keys. This piano will also teach your baby about tempo, colors, counting, and music styles. There is an interactive music book attached to the piano for you baby to flip through.5. The Toddler Orchestra comes with 2 shakers and a tambourine that are easy to hold and use. All three instruments make a different sound that will keep your baby entertained. The Toddler Orchestra uses the same materials and toning methods that are used in professional instruments.12 months-3 years old: 1. Xylophones are a fun way to teach your children how to create music by hitting the mallets with a stick. Make sure the xylophone you buy is a full octave and that the notes sound correct because your children will learn from it! Some xylophones I would recommend are the Jungle Jamboree, the Little Tike's Tap-a-Tune, and any other xylophone that works well.2. Band-in-a-Box or the Beginning Band Set by Melissa and Doug (as seen in the photo to the above) are great gifts to give your little ones this year. They are fun to play with, they are durable, and they come with a variety of instruments to play with.3. Play Guitars are always fun for kids to play with and to hold. I would make sure to buy a play guitar that resembles a real guitar. Some I would recommend are Elmo's Rock and Roll Guitar and the Big Rock Guitar by Little Tykes because they require your child to make a strumming action with their hand and to push the buttons on the neck to get different sounds. 4. The Phonics Radio is a fun toy because it plays 30 songs and teaches letters and phonics. There is also flashing lights and a volume control.5. Recorders are great to get for your children because they are easy to blow in. When my son was 1 year old he figured out how to blow in a recorder the first time he played with it! I would recommend buying a recorder by Yamaha because they will last a long time and are durable.4 - 7 years old: 1. Bongo Drums from First Act are handmade wooden lap drums with authentic skin drum heads. These drums also come with rims that stay in tune! You can also find other styles of bongo drums on A sing-along CD player is a fun way to introduce your children to singing and to karaoke, because your children can sing into a microphone while listening to music. Your children can also sing with a sibling or a friend!3. Mini piano's or electronic keyboards are fun for kids at this age because they are as close as you can get to the real instrument! Mini pianos come with non-tip benches and music to play.4. The First Act Electronic Drum Pad is a digital drum set that features 16 drum voices and 30 drum patterns. There are drum sticks provided also! This drum set is recommend for kids ages 6 and up, however, I bought this for my 2 year old for Christmas because I can set the se[...]

Wordless/ful Wednesday


What Musical Instrument Am I?


(image) Answer to last Wordless/ful Wednesday: Pipa

The pipa is a Chinese string instrument also known as a lute. The Pipa is one of the oldest Chinese musical instruments and has been around for two thousand years. The name Pipa is made up of two syllables "Pi" and "Pa" which stand for two different playing techniques. The syllable "Pi" means a player will use multiple fingers to pluck a string, and the syllable "Pa" means a player will strum the strings with their thumb.

Below is an example of what the pipa sounds like:


Wordless/ful Wednesday


What Musical Instrument Am I?


(image) Answer to last Wordless/ful Wednesday: Double Bass
The double bass is one of my all time favorite instruments because it is so much fun to play with! The double bass (also known as the contrabass or standup bass) was made in the 15th century and is the largest string instrument made. The double bass plays jazz and classical music and is made out of many types of wood. To play the double bass a player can pluck the strings or move a bow across the strings.

Below is an example of what a double bass sounds like playing jazz music:

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Thanksgiving Songs for Children


Thanksgiving Things
(Sung to Farmer in the Dell)

The turkey in the pen, the turkey in the pen,
All the children come and see the turkey in the pen.
The pilgrims on the boat, the pilgrims on the boat,
All the children come and see the pilgrims on the boat.
The Indians in the field, the Indians in the field,
All the children come and see the Indians in the field.
The pumpkins in the patch, the pumpkins in the patch,
All the children come and see, the pumpkins in the patch.
The corn on the cob, the corn on the cob,
All the children come and see, the corn on the cob.
The butter in the churn, the butter in the churn,
All the children come and see, the butter in the churn.

Wordless/ful Wednesday


What Musical Instrument Am I?

(image) Answer to last Wordless/ful Wednesday: Berimbau

All of you made me laugh when you said this instrument looked like a fishing pole because it really does! The berimbau is a single-stringed percussion instrument from Brazil. The berimbau is used in the Brazillian capoeira (a Brazilian dance that incorporates martial arts movements). The berimbau has a wooden bow about 4-5 feet long, with a tightly strung steel wire, and a hallow gourd. The berimbau has three sounds: a buzz sound, a high sound, and a open string sound.

Below is an example of what the berimbau sounds like:

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Below is an example of the berimbau playing in capoeira:

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Thanksgiving Songs for Children


Over the River and Through the Woods

Over the river and thru the woods,
To grandfather's house we go;
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh,
Thru the white and drifted snow, oh!
Over the river and thru the woods,
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes,
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and thru the woods,
To have a first-rate play;
Oh, hear the bell ring,
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day-ay!
Over the river and thru the woods,
Trot fast my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground,
Like a hunting hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Music Activities for Kids


Dancing to Music

Dancing is a great way for your kids to listen to music and to get exercise. In this activity we will be dancing to music in many different ways:(image)

1. Follow the leader. Turn on some music and imitate what the other dancer is doing. See how fun you can make this by turning on different styles of music!

2. Freeze Dance. Turn on some music and randomly stop the music. When the music is stopped, have your kids freeze in place. Now turn the music back on and have your kids dance again.

3. Dance to the tempo of the music. Have your kids move their bodies to slow and fast paced music.

(image) 4. Imitate different styles of music through dance. Play many different styles of music for your kids to dance too. For example, turn on a waltz and have your kids waltz around the room. Turn on the nutcracker and have your kids dance like a ballerina. Turn on a march and have your kids march around the house.

5. Have your kids wave scarves, streamers, or ribbons while dancing.

6. Let your kids leap and jump over tubs, cardboard bricks, or other safe objects while dancing.

7. Add on dance moves. Have a child make up a dance move. Have a second child copy the first child's dance move and then add on a second dance move. Have a third child copy the first two dance moves and then add on a third dance move, and so on. See how well the children can remember the order of the dance moves.

8. Turn on a dance video. Let your kids try to imitate what the dancers are doing on the screen. Ballet or hip hop is great for this exercise.

Clean Music for Teens: David Archuleta


If you are in the market for a clean CD for your teens, David Archuleta (former American Idol runner-up) has just released a new CD this month. And yes, the entire album is clean, I personally listened to and read every word to the songs myself! This album has mostly love songs on it and is avaliable at your local music stores or on-line. Click here to listen to clips of the songs.

Wordless/ful Wednesday


What Musical Instrument Am I?


(image) Answer to Last Wordless/ful Wednesday: Contrabass Trombone

The trombone has been around since the 18th century and was originally called a sackbut (no kidding)! To play the trombone a player will buzz their lips and blow air through the mouthpiece while moving the slide. The contrabass trombone is the largest trombone in the trombone family and is a brass instrument. The contrabass trombone is similar to the the tenor trombone except a contrabass trombone plays lower and is larger than than a tenor trombone. The contrabass trombone is played in classical and jazz music.


Thanksgiving Songs for Children


Mr. Turkey
(Sung to "Frere Jacque")

Mr. Turkey, Mr. Turkey
Run away, Run away
If you don't be careful
You will be a mouthful
Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving Day

Song From DLTK
I am participating in FFM

Anchorage Symphony Halloween Concert Review


If you are looking for a way to introduce classical music to your kids, going to the Anchorage Symphony Halloween Concert is a great way to do it! This year’s concert had an entertaining cast and a funny story line about trying to find the right style of music to wake the sleeping dragon.
The symphony played many different styles of music including pieces by Aaron Copland and Benny Goodman. There was even a vocal quintet that sung the 12 days of Halloween and 5 little pumpkins which my little guy loved! The concert was about 1 ½ hours long and had 4 floors of trick-or-treating for the kids after the concert. I would highly recommend this concert for families of all ages.

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(Anchorage Symphony)

Thanksgiving Songs for Children


Did You Ever See a Turkey?


(Video from Cullen's ABC's)

For this song make 4 feathers out of construction paper:

Feather 1: Red

Feather 2: Orange

Feather 3: Yellow

Feather 4: Brown


Did you ever see a turkey,

A turkey, a turkey,

As he struts around the farm yard,

With feathers so bright.

With red ones,

And orange ones,

And yellow ones,

And brown ones,

Did you ever see a turkey,

With feathers so bright.

I am participating in FMM.

Halloween Songs for Children


(image) Shivery Yells
(Sung to Silver Bells)

We're on the sidewalks, we're on the porches,
Dressed in costumes to scare.
Through the city we're ringing doorbells

Trick or treating, eating candy,
Gooey stuff in our hair,
But the most fun is shrieking out loud:

Shivery Yells, Shivery Yells
That's Halloween nitty-gritty
Moan and groan, leave us alone,
Halloween's just one night a year.

Deck the Patch
(Sung to Deck the Halls)
Deck the patch with orange and black,
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Take along your goody sack,
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Don we now our weird apparel,
Fa la la la la, la la la la
To the ancient pumpkin carol,
Fa la la la la, la la la la

See the great ones rise before us,
Fa la la la la, la la la la
As we sing the pumpkin chorus,
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Follow him as he ascends,
Fa la la la la la, la la la
Join with true great pumpkin friends,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Visit their site to learn more great Halloween songs!

Teaching Your Child Solfege


Music Lesson: Solfege



(Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music)

What is solfege?
Solfege is an important part of learning to read music and is a technique used to teach sight-singing or sight reading. Each note in solfege is sung to a different syllable do, re, me, fa, so, la, ti, and each note has a corresponding hand sign (as seen in photo below).

To teach your child solfege do the following:

1. Sing do (doh) to the first pitch of any major scale (i.e. if you choose the major C scale, C would be your first note).

2. Now, sing and sign do with your hand (as seen in photo below).

3. Have your child sing and sign do. If needed, help mold your child's hand into the do shape until he or she can sign do his or herself.

4. Continue to teach your child every solfege sign and syllable.

5. Note: Solfege is a great way to introduce music to your baby!

Solfege Pronunciation:

Do = Doh (For the C scale you will sing C pitch)

Re = Ray (For the C scale you will sing D pitch)

Me = Mee (For the C scale you will sing E pitch)

Fa = Fah (For the C scale your will sing F pitch)

Sol = Soh (For the C scale you will sing G pitch)

La = Lah (For the C scale you will sing A pitch)

Ti = Tee (For the C scale you will sing B pitch)

(image) (image)