Music For The Children
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
MUCH of what has been said of stories applies also to music. In the kindergarten the songs are dramatized and often worked out with different kinds of material. If at home the child sings for his mother and other members of the household, if he is aided in the correct use of words and tones, the kindergartner's work is continued. It often happens that in teaching a song little brains do not always get the ideas which the words of the song and the teacher's explanations are designed to convey. In the necessary concert teaching many a small mistake escapes the ear of the kindergartner which the mother can correct. For instance, one little girl sang for the words "All for the little ones' Christmas joys," "All for the little ones' Christmas George," and the teacher was greatly obliged to the mother for detecting and correcting a mistake which probably would have escaped her entirely.
In all homes, whether the children attend a kindergarten or not, the beautiful song books of these latter days should be in use. Mother and children should sing together, the children should be taught to sing for others, and where it is possible the song-story should be acted out in a play spirit. These song books furnish music for almost every occasion in child-life, and songs learned by the children can be used in a way that will make life happier for all who hear them. No kindergartner needs to say that she disapproves unqualifiedly of showing children off. Mothers still do this to their own and the children's undoing, and the songs and plays of the kindergarten seem to furnish added temptation to these fond and foolish parents to go on with the process of brushing off the bloom of childish unconsciousness. But children can sing for others without being shown off. Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter songs can be sung on the occasions for father. Groups of neighborhood children can give little serenades and concerts to friends and neighbors judicious enough to listen respectfully and comment sensibly. What invalid or convalescent would not rejoice to hear songs sung by happy children's voices? What family festival would not be sweeter for the childish songs which voice the soul of the occasion?
There are a few homes where the mother or father, or both, can and will take the time to sing with the Raising Children, to teach them the beautiful songs which are so many that the teacher can only use a fraction of them, to learn the songs which they sing in school or kindergarten, and so to have in their home music for the children as well as for themselves. . .
With any or all of these books many a happy evening hour can be passed and many a profitable Sunday afternoon, for the devotional songs in these collections are good music, which is more than can be said of most Sunday-school melodies. With their aid and the mothers', the house may become musical with child-like songs, and delightful surprises and joyous occasions provided for. Mental and spiritual food for growing minds and souls can be given in this way, and the store of play material enhanced as well.