Instruments for Speech Development

Exploring musical instruments exposes children to pitch, timbre, and texture; young children need these skills to learn speech.

Children are often fascinated by instruments' sounds. We can strengthen their ability to organize and make sense of language sounds with activities that nurture their natural curiosity. In our music program, we encourage students to respond to the various sounds that instruments make and to describe those sounds verbally and through dance. You can encourage your child to connect with music through dance by motivating them with a ribbon or scarf to get them moving.  

Try It At Home

  • Set up a Music Area with a variety of instruments. You could use drums, egg shakers, a xylophone, and a small guitar or keyboard.
  • Play some children’s music that will encourage your child to sing and play along on their own instruments. Youtube can be a great resource for free music if you don’t already have a collection of CD’s or digital tracks. Check out some of our favorite channels like Backyardigans, Little Einstein and Yo Gabba Gabba.
  • Make a pretend microphone to encourage your child to sing. Plastic echo microphones and kazoos are also great tools to motivate kids to vocalize.
  • Gather your relatives and friends, and give your child a chance to perform. Sharing music can make children proud of their accomplishments and encourage further exploration.

Other Resources

Check out early childhood classics like Ella Jenkins and other folkways records. Some of our other favorites are:

Using children’s instruments to make pop songs like Shake It Off and Let It Go (below) has become popular on Youtube, so explore with your child and find your own favorites. The most important thing is to have fun with music!