Music can change your child's life!

Kids in the Capital is delighted to welcome Monkey Rock Music as a sponsor to the blog. Misty got a chance to check out a class with her 2 year-old, but she doesn't need any convincing that a music program can have a huge impact on children's development!

In Grade 4 I got the chance to pick an instrument to learn in our school's music program. Our well-funded program had many possibilities. I chose the violin, but my teacher convinced me to go with the viola - a less popular version of the four-stringed instruments.

Turns out the viola suited me well. As someone who was shy, I liked being the harmony - playing in the background, but as a key piece of the orchestra. My first squeaks on that instrument led to a lifelong love of music. Although I stopped playing the viola in university, I went on to teach myself to play the guitar as an adult and continued piano studies for many years.

Research shows that children who learn music fare better in many other subjects (so THAT'S why I rocked calculus!) These children also have improved test scores, higher IQs, and better language development. And we all know the effects that music can have on our well being - the right song can calm us down, or lift us up.

Does that mean we should be putting our children in music lessons, even if they're not interested? NO! Forcing a child to practice an instrument or a type of music that they do not enjoy is pointless, and usually ends in the child giving up music altogether. What it does mean is that we can help our child foster a love and appreciation for music - in all its forms.

Monkey Rock Music does just that - they teach young children to love music, not to play it. Their classes are located all over the city and cater to different age groups - from babies all the way up to four years of age. My daughter and I got a chance to check out a class the other week, and she loved it! And you know what? I loved it too! There was no pre-recorded music - just a guy with his guitar, and a giant bag full of fun instruments that the kids could play. And I really liked that adult songs were incorporated into the mix, which kept it fun for the "big kids."

In addition to classes located all around Ottawa (and stay tuned for an expansion to Montreal!), Monkey Rock Music will come to your home to host a class or participate in your child's birthday party. Just like the classes, an instructor will bring along their guitar, bag of instruments and a special rainbow parachute! You can request your child's favourite songs ahead of time, and the instructor will get the kids up and moving to the music.

If that weren't enough, this amazing musical team is available for live bookings! You can catch Monkey Rock Music at stage shows  - a monthly show at Greenfield's pub in Barrhaven, and Broadway Bar and Grill or Boston Pizza in Ottawa South. Dinner can be ordered for the whole family, and the shows run from 5:30 - 6:30 pm. As well, you can book the team for special events (MRM recently played at CHEO's Teddy Bear Picnic!)

So skip the piano lessons for now, and work on fostering your child's love of music. You (and your child) won't regret it!