How parents can use music as a tool
Families who listen to music at home will notice all kinds of benefits in their children. Indeed, music is a great tool that parents can start implementing right away! If you want to know what it can do for your kids and how can you start using different songs or rhythms as a tool, just keep reading.
Music can boost memory
Have you noticed how certain songs or tunes can literally make you go back in time? It is one of the most demonstrated benefits of music: it can actually stimulate parts of the brain and improve memory at the point that doctors use it to treat patients with dementia and Alzheimer's! Because children’s brains are so plastic, music can do wonders for them as well.
Hence, parents can actually use music as a tool if they want children to remember certain events of their childhood. For instance, you can edit a video of photographs of their school year together with their favorite song. Or you can help them learn their lesson by, let’s say, turning times tables into fun, easy tunes. In any case, music can help your child retain information, especially if they have a positive feeling attached to that song!
Music can improve learning
Some well-intentioned parents walk into their
teenage bedroom and turn down the volume of their music when it is time to
study. “You can listen to your music later; you’ve got a test tomorrow”. But
that would not be exactly right! In fact, Chris Brewer, author of the book Soundtracks for Learning, states that
students of any age may find that music helps them focus more clearly on any
given task and puts them in a great mood when it comes to studying and
Knowing which, you may help your child choose some upbeat music, reinforced with positive lyrics when the time comes to sit down and study for their exams. That will increase their confidence and self-esteem! On the other hand, genres like rock, punk, or heavy metal can diminish their concentration because of their loud sounds. You shouldn’t play the radio either, because announcers and ads may distract your child.
The best music for studying is baroque music, new age, and chill out. All of them provide calmness, and peace of mind, necessary for concentrating. For reading or writing exercises, instrumental music may be just what your children need to stay calm and focused. That’s right! Instead of a distraction, music can be a great learning tool.
Use music to relax your children
Is your night-time routine never-ending? Do your children keep asking for yet another bedtime story, one more glass of water, or calling you because they are afraid there might be monsters under the bed? Then you should know that a tune can help children sleep better!
Our cardiac rhythm can achieve normal values (60 to 80 BPM) through the right kinds of music, and diminish blood pressure. With the appropriate slow songs and calm rhythms, muscles relax as well. That can help anyone get rid of stress, and also your children! Actually, if you think about it, all through history, mothers, and fathers have sung lullabies to their babies, and it is never too late to use these tools for relaxation.
Another way you can use music for relaxation is for calming your child down after they had a big game, a birthday party, or perhaps just a tough day. Select instrumental, low pitch music; set an atmosphere and try to avoid interruptions for at least 15 minutes; ask your child to simply relax, and just listen: encourage them to use headphones if that helps.
If it helps, British neuroscientist David Lewis-Hodgson discovered some great songs for relaxation, and the #1 on his list was “Weightless” by Marconi Union, which reduced stress levels an astounding 65% of participants of his tests. Have you tried listening to it?
Music can help them move as well!
As we have already stated, music is a great tool for relaxation and keeping your children focused on a task, just like doing their homework. However, it can have the opposite effect as well! If your children are not active enough, if they spend too much time in front of screens, watching TV or playing video games, music may be just what the doctor prescribed!
Create a dance floor in your own living room or
in your child’s bedroom by removing furniture, allowing them to dance along.
Join them for some great family time! Through dancing, they will get active,
spend some energy, and get their bodies in motion, which is necessary for their
health and general well-being. Unlike relaxation or studying time, now you can
select rhythms such as rap, hip hop, reggae, punk or hard rock.
A great socialization tool
Finally, we should consider music’s main
function is socializing. At least, that is according to Jeremy Montagu, from
Oxford University. He claims music is so primitive that its origins are previous
to language itself. Music creates bonds among the mother and her baby, and it
is also present among primitive groups of hunters or gatherers. Nowadays we can
see how music brings groups of people together!
Music can help your child express their emotions better, and thus parents can use it as a tool for increasing family communication, and even love bonds! Try creating your own family playlists, which you can listen to while driving the car, having dinner, or simply spending some family time at home. You’ll see how certain songs or artists will bring in your children the sense of belonging, of being part of a loving family. These will strengthen their confidence, making them feel secure and beloved.
As we can see, parents can use music as a tool for boosting their children’s memory, for helping them learn, for calming them down or, opposite, getting them off the couch. But most importantly, it also strengthens love bonds between people. What more could you possibly ask for?