As we approach spring break, finding ways to include musical development in well-deserved vacation time is essential. Here are some tips on how to keep kids learning!

1.) Seek out musical destinations for each trip. Homes of the great composers, legendary conservatories, museums with instrument collections, grand concert halls –there’s fun to be had everywhere! Bonus points for taking pictures and creating a scrapbook of your musical adventures. Ask your teacher for recommendations specific to your travel plans.

You're never too young to start learning about the great composers! Pictured: The home where Antonín Dvořák spent the summer of 1893.
You’re never too young to start learning about the great composers! Pictured: The home where Antonín Dvořák spent the summer of 1893.

2.) Set your trip to music. Put a new CD in the car and enjoy. Encourage everyone to sing along to favorite songs and feel the power of symphonies. Return home humming Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty!

3.) Find new inspiration. Whether it’s the New York Philharmonic, a touring production of Wicked, a pianist playing jazz standards in a beautiful restaurant, or a cousin demonstrating their own musical skills, students can take inspiration from any musical event!

4.) Let theory help you get through those long flights! Bring along a Theory Time book and make a pact to surprise your teacher with how much you’ve learned! Parents, if you’re worried about getting stuck mid-flight, bring along the Theory Time Teacher’s Edition and work as a team.

5.) Practice those bow holds when you can’t bring along your violin! Make a Bow Bunny on a pen and have the bunny share in your adventures.

6.) Let a musical story transport you on long car rides. My absolute favorite is the Classical Kids series. Tchaikovsky Discovers America, Beethoven Lives Upstairs, and Mr. Bach Comes to Call…all on the way to your destination! You can find these CDs on Amazon.com and through your local library.

7.) Invite your violin or viola along for the ride! Check airline-specific guidelines on bringing instruments on flights. Be sure to bring a printed copy of the airline policy with you to show the agent working at the gate desk. Board as soon as possible to make room for your instrument in the overhead compartment, and be especially kind to flight attendants who can help your violin have a safe flight.

8.) Remember, grandparents make the best audience anyone can ask for, so encourage your child to prepare a special performance for family and friends on visits!

The music of Antonín Dvořák grew to mean so much to our family that we visited his former home (in Iowa) on two separate occasions!
The music of Antonín Dvořák grew to mean so much to our family that we visited his former home (in Iowa) on two separate occasions!

All opinions are by Lauren Haley and all original content is copyright 2015 Lauren Haley Studios.