10 Summertime Music Ideas
Summer is the perfect time to incorporate music into your daily routine. Whether your children are already taking music classes or lessons, or have never heard a piece of classical music, these 10 ideas will have you singing and dancing all summer long!
1. Dance to the Music
In our family, there is nothing more entertaining than putting on lively music and dancing the day away. Having an outdoor dance party is even better! Try adding props (e.g., ribbons, scarves, water, shaker instruments or bubbles) for a little extra fun.
2. Make Homemade Instruments
There are many ideas for homemade instruments all over the internet. I have found that putting cereal or beans in a container with a lid is super simple and very effective. An oatmeal box drum is also quite simple and fun. If you are artistically inclined, you can make a variety of DIY instruments, such as a guitar from a tissue box and rubber bands, or a rain stick from a mailing tube and nails.
3. Paint with Music
One of my favorite activities to do with younger children is painting while listening to a wide variety of music. Choose a few different pieces of classical music and let your child’s creative energy flow. A few summer-themed suggestions are: 1812 Overture (Tchaikovsky), Summer (Vivaldi), A Summer Day (Prokofiev), Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Mendelssohn), and A Song of Summer (Delius).
4. Watch Musical Movies
Movie nights are a huge hit in our house. Why not try watching a musical movie? There are many classic musical movies that can be rented from your local library, or from streaming video. Some of my favorite ones are a little less known: Fantasia (Disney®), The Snowman (Walter Briggs), and The Red Balloon (Albert Lamorisse). However, a wonderful classic like Oklahoma (Rodgers & Hammerstein) is always enjoyable too.
5. Create an Outdoor Music Workstation
This is a perfect way to display your homemade musical instruments. Simply find a table, place it in a shaded area outside, and fill it with instruments of all different kinds. You can also incorporate the families of instruments (i.e. strings, brass, woodwind, etc.) with posters, as well as flash cards or music worksheets.
6. DIY Windchimes
This is the most outside-the-box one of the bunch! This project is only limited by your imagination. All kinds of random objects can be used to create a windchime. Spoons, tin cans, sticks, washers, shells, and nails are just a few of the possible items that would work. Each item has its own sound, so have fun trying different ideas!
7. Play Musical Games
Many popular music games are circle dances (think Mulberry Bush and Ring Around the Rosie). However, there are other not-as-familiar games that I enjoy, as well. Name That Tune, Spontuneous, Measure Up and Dominotes are just a few that are super fun and educational.
8. Learn an Instrument/Take a Music Class
This might seem like a large undertaking. However, many music studios have summer camps, classes, and deals on private instrument lessons. Renting is a cost- effective way to bring instruments into your home. Most music stores rent by the month, so your child could try out the instrument without a big investment.
9. Musical Science Experiments
Like other areas of science, the science of sound is so fascinating. Sound waves, volume, acoustics, and vibration can all be learned through super fun experiments. Pinterest has a bunch of ideas. I think my favorite experiment is “seeing” sound. Cover a bowl with cling wrap and put sugar on top. When you hum close to the bowl, the sugar granules will dance.
10. Read Music Stories
A fantastic way to introduce music is to read about composers and instruments. Some of my favorite books for young children are The Magic Flute (by Anne Gatti, with music by Wolfgang Mozart), Carnival of the Animals (by Barrie C. Turner, with music by Camille Saint-Saens), and Peter and the Wolf (by Janet Schulman, with music by Sergei Prokofiev). These books also come with a CD, so you can listen to the music while you read.
Michelle Martin was born into a musical family and has been teaching music for over 20 years. Besides teaching piano and voice, Michelle is a performer, a choir director, a writer, a composer, and a homeschool mom. Most recently she has published three music curricula through Schoolhouse Teachers. Music has always been a passion for Michelle, and she believes exposing a child to music is just as important as learning math or science. Michelle lives with her husband, Jim, two daughters, Zoe and Eva, and a myriad of furry and aquatic friends.