Only Young Once

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Article written by Anna Seewald, MEd, MPsy

Music is powerful.  It touches everyone.  Music can bring tears to your eyes, uplift your spirit, inspire you, trigger memories, change your mood, make you move, forget your pain and relieve your stress.  Music can transform your inner world and your environment in seconds…To me music is more powerful than words.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” -Plato

It’s a unique language accessible and understood by everyone regardless of age, gender, culture, race, and ethnicity. Ever wonder what the world would be without music?

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Music is everywhere…Let your children discover sounds in nature.  It is documented that listening to music or playing an instrument helps children in many areas of development; language and math skills, memory, focusing and concentration, motor skills, social skills, cognitive skills and it can enhance their academic performance.  It affects many parts of the brain.  Of course, not everyone is going to be a child prodigy, but there are numerous benefits to music.  It is therapeutic and can affect health positively.

The important thing is to immerse your child in music from a very young age.  Studies show that even in vitro babies react to music.  Expose her to a variety of genres and styles. Let her develop her own taste in music and help her to create a music library of her own.

Music is a great connection tool.  It is a shared, creative experience.  It is a wonderful tool for self-expression.  Sometimes children don’t have the right vocabulary to express their feelings.  Music can be that bridge.  Through movement and music, children can overcome their fears and anxieties, heal their traumas, calm down and rest.  When I work with emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children, I often use music and dancing in my sessions.  Music is an unspoken language that speaks to everyone.  It can give children a glimpse of other cultures – teaching them tolerance and empathy.

Things parents can do:

-Sing to your child.  Sing together.  Make up silly songs or change the words of familiar songs.  Share your favorite songs with your child.  Sing lullabies.  You don’t have to have a perfect voice or know the the words.  It’s the bond that you create and the memories that matter.

-Dance together.

-Make musical instruments.  An empty coffee container can become a drum, a water bottle filled with rice is a cute maraca.  I have this warm memory of my brother and me making music with pots and pans…Possibilities are endless.

-Listen to music and ask your child to draw or paint her emotions evoked by music.

-Invite them to think about music, about the intent of the composer, etc.  Ask them questions: “Is this a happy melody?”, “When you hear this music what do you imagine?” or “How does this music make you feel?”.

-Organize a fancy candlelight dinner with classical music for your child.

-All children respond to and love music.  But some do express deep interest from an early age.  Nurture your child’s gift.

-Bring them to concerts.  Sometimes orchestras have an instrument-petting-zoo.  It could be a great opportunity for your youngster to learn about various instruments.  There is nothing like a live concert.

-Listen to CD’s and expose them to a variety of styles and genres.

-Enroll them in singing/dancing/art classes.  It could be so enriching!  Make music a big part of your child’s life.  Music can do wonders!

AUTHOR BIO: Anna Seewald, MEd, MPsy is the founder of Authentic ParentingTM that specializes in parent education and parenting consulting.  She works with parents of young children-providing parenting classes, workshops and individual consultations worldwide.  To learn about her unique approach and information visit her web site www.authenticparenting.com.



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    1. Jacqueline Seewald says:

      A wonderful article! Children naturally love music. Sharing musical experiences is a wonderful way for parents and children to connect. Learning to sing or play a musical instrument or just listening to music together is fine for developing the mind and soul, bringing joy into family life.

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