Music is an important part of our days.
We are music lovers – we have always been, and as a matter of fact, we have made it a priority for 2012 to significally increase the amount of time spent playing music ourselves while we are together.
But as parents, we have not always used music as a parenting tool. We started doing so when we realized it’s power when used appropriately.
Music is indeed powerful with young children (and dare I say for adults too?). We have, many time, salvaged what seemed like completely out of control situations by using the right music. I feel music change the atmosphere of a room, and acts on the environment just like beauty of material or cleanliness does. Just like clutter acts negatively on children (and most adults), inappropriate music, or sound for that matter, will do exactly the same: it drains their energy and their power of concentration. Base on our experience, this leads to a tired and whinny child that has a hard time slow down. X is particularly affected by sound and music, and annoying sounds or really upbeat music really has a toll on him quickly, and even more when he is already tired.
We have seen this again during the holidays. Not being home for a long period of time, we didn’t have as much power on the surrounding noises and music. We saw the effects almost instantaneously on him, and after a while, the others started showing the same signs: restlessness, loss of concentration, and even aggressivity. X really is our barometer for that. Thankfully, we had the right tools to help them get back on a more peaceful track.
Our use of music:
We use music through out the day, and the genre varies according to what I am wishing the atmosphere to be.
- We usually wake to either no music, or light classical music that is not too dramatic. When things are too hectic, I use similar music to a lower level to help create a calming atmosphere
- When I want to create a cheerful atmosphere that leads to singing, dancing of just having fun, we mostly use music of the world, or Jazz music. These are our current favourite.
- We also love to make our children discover the music WE love. Rock, light rock, pop are all used, but lightly, and at appropriate times. They regularly ask for The Beatles, and other timeless groups we had them acquainted with. Mind you, we carefully select the music we let them hear, and we know to not overabuse that!
- Dancing is always welcome around here, and the kids choose what they want, when they want.
- When we are concentrating, we mostly do not use music. But when we do, or if we need to block out annoying surrounding noises, I use either nature music, or new age music. I feel it is best when concentrating, since there is no tune to it.
- We also use music to learn. About the orchestra, or the instruments. We make a point for our children to hear traditional music from our corner of the world. We feel it teaches them about their roots.
- During meals, we don’t use music. Our chatter is the best music we can have. But around mealtimes, music is really important. When children are hungry and cannot wait for dinner to be ready, I usually direct them to music.
- Music is paramount at bedtime. Every child has a small radio in his room, with a small selection of soothing music. But I have to admit that they don’t change it often. They each use the same disc night after night. X had requested guitar, M piano, and we gave E violin music.
See you tomorrow for part 2