The year was 19hmhr. I was a toddler in a cart singing songs with my grandma as we were grocery shopping. Not just singing softly and gently to each other.
Singing so the whole store could hear us whether they wanted to or not. That, in a nutshell, was my childhood.
Fast forward to today and I don't see that anymore.
What has happened to us?
When did we get so uptight that singing in our cars is considered absurd? Or something only kids do? It seems the only place most people feel "safe" enough to sing is in the shower and even then, someone with roommates might be hesitant to share their song.
Think about movies. Just 50-60 years ago, the majority of movies were musicals. Now, animated kids' movies are often the only ones with featured songs throughout the film—and even that is slowly dwindling.
Neither my grandma nor my mother had any qualms about singing with my brother and me. When the urge struck, we sang! It didn't matter where we were or what we were doing. We Sang!
Maybe we're the exception, but I think that needs to change. There is a lot to be said about the bond between families who sing together and the developmental benefits to children of parents and grandparents who sing to and with them.
The importance of singing to your children is something that I feel can't be stressed enough to parents with newborns and young children.
It's widely known that music is a fabulous teaching tool. Singing with your children builds:
A perfect example of this is my cousin's now 5 year old. Every day since the day she was born my cousin has sung to her daughter. The result: She was able to sing "You are my Sunshine" when she was 14 months old and her vocabulary & clarity of speech at 2 was better than some 4 and 5 year olds I know.
It dIt doesn't matter how "good" you think your voice is or isn't. No, really. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if your pitch is spot on or if your voice cracks or if you warble a little—or even a lot. The melodic tones of your singing voice are enough. So please, sing with your child!
Sing with your neighbor's child.
Sing with the child in the cart in front of you in the checkout line.
They will all benefit from it!
Not sure what songs to sing? Start here with some nursery rhymes.
Need a little vocal help? Here's a list of YouTube channels to help you get started:
Big Block Singsong - this one is my personal favorite
The Learning Station
Super Simple Songs for Kids
The Kiboomer - Kids Music Channel