How Reading Aloud Makes Us Better Parents… and our kids better musicians

You’ve been reading to your child since they were a tiny babies. Many of us spent hours and hours with a toddler on our laps reading books until they were fully memorized. But do we continue to read aloud when they are an independent reader? Reading together isn’t something we need to give up once they can read on their own. I believe that this connection we get through books can help make us better parents! Not only that, but sharing stories can help your child become a more expressive musician.

Watch the video below:

We don’t have to stop reading aloud to our children

Reading together doesn’t need to stop once our children become independent readers. Continuing that connection through story, even through the teen years, reading can open up conversations about the world. We tend to think of reading in a linear progression. Where the child “graduates” from board books to picture books. Then picture books to chapter books, etc.

I want to present our reading journey in a different way. I was first exposed to this idea while reading The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. Both The Read Aloud Handbook and The Read Aloud Family by Sarah MacKenzie are books with great information about how you can continue to read aloud as a family, with plenty of book suggestions along the way. Sarah MacKenzie from the Read Aloud Revival Podcast talks about making our reading journey concentric circles instead of a linear journey.

This made so much sense to me! Of course you would continue to read those beautiful picture books. They have beautiful artwork and complex language. Review pieces work in a very similar way. We never let go of those old pieces because we are building a repertoire. We are building on the previously learned techniques.

Why does reading make us better parents

So how does this connect to our parenting? By reading aloud together we are forming a deep bond and shared experience. We can explore complex ideas, philosophies and challenges through story. We can understand other perspectives and learn about ways of life in different parts of the world. All while strengthening the our own families underlying culture. This connection we get through story can last all the way through childhood.

Helping our children become better musicians

Will telling stories change our musicianship? I believe so! If my child is playing something that is full of sadness, I can pull from a story we experienced together to talk about how that sadness might feel or how it might sound. If it is light and dance like, we have a shared experience of story that we can draw on to make decisions about how it can sound. If a family is keeping the communication of story a regular part of their day, that child will better know how to communicate emotions, experiences and stories through their instrument.

Reading aloud together can help shape the culture of your family. It can help improve your bond with your child and give your child ways to understand the world.

I would love to hear if you have some favorite read aloud books or whatever your current read aloud is.

How's this work for your Suzuki parenting adventure?

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