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Lady Lullaby Blog

Lullabies for babies, grown-ups and everyone in between!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Best Possible Music Teacher

There’s a lot of research showing that when an older sibling teaches a younger sibling something, the learning is more effective than when taught by someone else. The older child also gains from teaching and learns more than he would have without doing this.

This makes perfect sense. First, we always learn more ourselves by teaching — breaking it down into steps, going slowly and thinking deeply about the subject, finding a way to explain it so that someone else with less experience will understand it.

And from the younger child’s side, another child is the best possible teacher (for better and sometimes worse — think of peer pressure in high school) because children are of the same species. Grown-ups are necessary but are just so... big.

This is true even for a new baby. Older siblings often get the first smiles from a baby brother or sister who must be thinking, “Ah, here is someone who’s more like me, but she can walk and talk so she must be really special.” And if the older sibling can cool it on the deliberately too-hard hugs, the life-long adoration to the point of idol-worship is assured.

Encourage your older child to show off his/her musical talents to baby brother or sister. Have them share their latest preschool songs often and with enthusiasm. Get the rhythm instruments out (or the pots and wooden spoons) and have a command performance in front of the front row bouncy seat. Put on music and have a toddler dance session to show that bouncy seat occupant what the potential is for expressing love of life.

This alone can be a huge boost in developing the younger child’s love of music and movement — anything that this all-powerful older sibling does is inevitably imitated, so why not have it be music?

Sweet dreams,

This is a great example of Sibling Singing: improvising the words (the best message possible: "I love her!") and tune, communicating perfectly with the baby. Notice how the baby is trying so hard to sing along!

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