I’m not a fan of my own singing voice. I’ve been told I sing pleasantly, but it’s something I’m very self-conscious about, and I just am not crazy about how it sounds to my own ears. So for the last couple years, in situations where singing is expected, I just sing low enough to blend in. Well, with the exception of singing in the car. Cuz nobody can hear me when I sing by myself in the car, right?
This method has served me well until 2 years ago, when I became a parent. My child loves music. She always has. While I was pregnant, she would have a dance party when I played music loud enough for her to hear. When she was an infant, it was smiles and coos when I turned the radio on. Then bops and wiggles as she began to stand and move on her own.
And most recently, she has begun singing herself. This is cute in and of itself, but what I’ve really noticed is how music is advancing her language development. When something with a strong 4-beat rhythm comes on, she announces, “March!” and begins stomping her feet. She sings multiple verses of “The Wheels on the Bus”, complete with the appropriate motions that she has created. In the past couple days, she has started requesting the ABCs, and the more we sing it, the more she letters she remembers and sings along with me. Though her favorite part is still yelling , “TADA!” and throwing her hands up in the air when we finish.
It’s a reminder of not only how absorbent children are at this age, but also how diverse their learning styles are. And a gentle nudge to me as a parent that I need to adapt to her learning style. Even if I have to listen to my own voice.