Children are naturally drawn to music and they are also naturally creative, so songwriting is a great nexus of these. Writing songs can help your children express themselves, learn more about music, and even become more attuned to the world around them as they collect material for songs.
Parents can encourage their children’s songwriting in several ways.
Encourage them to sing, especially with others
Many of the most famous singer-songwriters of our time were singing at a very young age, and often in church choirs. Church songs can teach children about basic melodic structure, and singing with other people helps them to learn proper tuning. It’s not necessary they sing in a church, of course; many schools and communities also have children’s choirs.
Give them space and time—and silence—to create
We’re constantly surrounded by so much stimuli like TVs, radios, phones, and the internet. Turn off these distractions for a little while and let your child focus on writing.
Surround them with words and music
Play good quality music for your kids, practice an instrument with them, let them play around on an instrument, and read to them. Kids are fantastic at copying what they hear and see; encourage them to imitate something and then adapt it to make it their own.
Teach them some basic music theory
Your child will get a leg up from some basic knowledge about how music works and an ability to read and write it, if only just a little. Music theory isn’t necessary to write songs, but it can enhance their ability to do so.
Give them a quality musical instrument
Or, at least consider letting them practice with one. Instruments won’t inspire your kids if they produce a bad sound.
Kids love hearing themselves talking or singing. Record your child singing, even if it’s just a quick impromptu session, and play it back for them. They’ll often want to sing it again.
If you want to take it further than simply recording them on your phone, there are several great programs that can help, including Audacity and Garage Band.