If you’ve ever been toy shopping for an infant, toddler or preschooler, you’ve probably noticed that many of the toys are to some degree, musical.
From the simplest baby rattle, to kid-sized acoustic guitars, to light up musical puzzles, and to “oh-my-gosh-please-get-this-thing-to-shut-up” keyboards, most children end up with some kind of musical instrument or toy at some point in their childhood!
Many of these toys are really interesting in their look, their design, their features or their price (“a guitar for 30 bucks… no way!”) many of them are more toy than they are instrument.
And that’s okay! These toys teach kids about the timbre of different instruments, give infants a way to make music with a simple click of a button and they light up to teach kids cause and effect.
But if you have a child who genuinely loves music…
… and you’re looking for a real instrument to get your child playing music in a meaningful and intentional way…
then I’d like to introduce you to the unsung hero of the early childhood music world, the C Major Deskbells.
This is significantly easier for kids than swinging a stick and trying to hit a key on a xylophone styled instrument!
This is also the key difference between the bells and the piano, that the bells are MUCH easier to play. For a young child to play piano, they need fine motor control over their individual fingers. They also need to find the right note amongst a sea of black and white keys.
You can also hit lots of keys on the piano at once, which results in a lot of dissonant musical play when children free-play on the piano.
With the bells, it’s a lot harder for a child to get it wrong. Because the bells are in the key of C Major, most of the notes sound great together. You can further improve your child’s chance of consonant musical play (musical play that sounds good) by removing the F and B bells (arguably the most dissonant notes) or you can zoom in and focus on just one or two notes and the relationship/harmony of the two notes.
One cannot talk about the Deskbells without mentioning Boomwhackers!
Boomwhackers are inexpensive and durable percussive tubes that educators and performers around the world have fallen in love with.
Because of their popularity in the classroom, getting your preschool child a Chromanotes instrument will help to make their elementary music experience more congruent with their early childhood music experience.
This works well for older kids or fast-paced adult percussion ensembles!