When I was about 3 or 4 years old, my older sister and I took bubble baths together. I remember us concocting a story where there were monsters in the water. We each had to take turns hanging off the soap bar holder so that the monsters wouldn’t attack our toes. Apparently, it was so much fun that we accidently tore off the soap bar holder down along with a couple of tiles. We laugh about it now after our parents forgave us…
Think about all the stories you’ve heard and told yourself. Maybe you’re thinking about what story you’re going to tell your little one when you tuck her into bed tonight. Some nights you like to read a classic children’s book – other nights when your eyes are too weary to read, you create your own princes and dragons until she has fallen asleep peacefully by your side.
Now think of a musical recording as a book. The composer is the author and the musicians in the recording are the storytellers.
Now how can you combine music and storytelling in your own home?
As for me, the first thing I have to do is get back in touch with my inner child. I have to be willing to get down on my hands and knees, roar like a lion, embody twinkling stars, and even prance around the room like a magical kangaroo. Ok, basically, I have to be willing to be incredibly silly. So if you’re afraid of what others might think of you, you’ll have to get over it.
The second step is to find music that inspires your imagination. So in other words, if the song sounds boring to you, don’t use it. You want something that will get you to move or act out a scenario. For instance, if the music is spooky, you can pretend to sneak around the house on a mission to find a treasure. There’s a plethora of exciting music out there, so no worries on running out of resources.
A great example comes from the collection called “Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saens. His first piece from the set is “The Lion”. It easily depicts a marching lion and the rolling waves played by the piano will inspire anyone to roar like the King of the Jungle. At the end of the song, the lion gives out the biggest roar, making it clear that he is not an animal to be reckoned with.
Yes, I’ve been on my hands and knees, mimicking a lions walk, marching like a lion and roaring along with my 3 and 4-year-old students. And I love it.