music and children

Mood Music

Last month our writers shared some of their holiday traditions and plans for the upcoming season. In November, we continue our conversation about holidays. How do we juggle visitors, travel with small children, eat well amidst all that delicious food and most importantly, take time to just BREATHE? This time of year can very quickly become stressful, so we hope our writers' words this month will give you a few moments to slow down, think about how you're spending your energy and encourage you during this busy, but wonderful time of year. ~TMC  Kids and MusicGrowing up I was exposed to music by my parents. It was a lot of classic rock, modern rock, jazz and bluegrass, with some classical mixed in. Sometimes they would turn Led Zepplin up so loud that I would run to my room and put my head under a pillow. Cool parents, huh? Not surprisingly, I now enjoy all that music I heard as a child.

These days I’ve been thinking about how to get music into my kids’ lives (other than just turning what I like up really loud!).

I find that having music playing while trying to complete otherwise mundane tasks, like cleaning up after dinner, helps me to have a better attitude. If the kids are getting restless, I turn on some music they like and it helps focus and calm them, too. They like to ask for specific songs they know, like "The Wheels on the Bus". My oldest will ask to listen to different versions of the same song, which is easily possible with Spotify. I find it interesting that he notices the slight differences in style, voices, and instruments even at three years old! Other times while they’re doing a quieter activity (coloring or playing with play dough), I turn on something that might be different for them like classical or bluegrass or hymns.

I want to incorporate more music into our lives not to make them smarter or more sophisticated, but to allow them opportunities to experience all the different beautiful things in this world.

The upcoming holidays provide many opportunities for music appreciation: funny “scary” music for Halloween, hymns of thanksgiving or giving thanks for music at Thanksgiving, and everyone’s favorite, Christmas music.

Even the littlest babies enjoy all kinds of music. Just be aware that as some music can make you feel less calm, this is true for your children as well. Respect their preferences as well as your own!

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How do you encourage music appreciation in your home?