We have all had the experience of getting home from an incredibly stressful day, our muscles tense, jaw clenched, and mind racing. We turn on quiet music, and soon the physical effects of stress lessen. We begin to relax. Our mind quiets and our pulse slows. Music has that calming power. Parents can use the magic of music to help their children relax and be calm, too.
Just think about one of your favourite songs and how it makes you feel when you hear it. Maybe it makes you feel sad or nostalgic. Or maybe it makes you feel happy and ready to hit the dance floor. Whatever emotion it evokes, music is a powerful force on our emotions and mood. And it’s no different for kids. Music has the same type of effect on children and is especially useful for helping kids calm down when they’re upset.
I remember in my apartment I had neighbours whose baby would be crying all the time. They would try playing videos or try to distract him with toys but nothing seemed to work.
Every evening this boy who lived upstairs would play the guitar in his balcony and he would play beautiful melodies that were so soothing to the ears.
That was the only time the baby would be quiet. In the beginning I thought that they were just not home or the baby was sleeping but, when I spoke to aunty she told me that every time he played the guitar the baby would stop crying and his focus would be on finding where the music was coming from.
Music creates a very calm atmosphere not only for children but also for adults. It is like music, for our mind, is similar to a workout for our body. The ability for a child to recognize music as a tool for self-regulation and coping with stress is invaluable.
Music’s unique ability to influence our emotions makes it a powerful tool to manage feelings and behaviour.