“Fifty Nifty United States from thirteen original colonies…”
If you’re singing in your head right now, you’re one of the lucky few who had the honor of learning the State song in grade school. Cheesy? Yes. But you remember it right?
Today I want to share 4 reasons how singing and playing more music will bring joy, light, and learning to your family.
1. Music and memory are BFFs.
Music can be a gateway to the past. You can be going about your business one minute, and in the next minute overwhelmed by emotion because of a song.
You hear a song that was played at your high school prom. BOOM. You’re transported back to that dimly lit gymnasium, dancing with your high school sweetheart.
You’re driving with your honey and “your song” comes on the radio, and it instantly turns you both into nostalgic, googely-eyed young lovers as you reminisce about your wedding day.
A song that was played at a loved one’s funeral comes on, and you revisit your grief as the tears pour down your cheeks. Music is so powerful this way.
When our son was born, we picked “Boat Song” by JJ Heller as his song. We played this song in the car ALL the time when he was a baby, and it always calmed him down. We sang it to him before gently laying him down to sleep every night. We use it when we make birthday slideshows for him, and it evokes all kinds of emotion and love for my son when I hear it. Coleton totally knows it’s his song, too. When I play it for him, the biggest smile stretches across his cutie face.
Music is an easy way for you to impact your kids forever. If you like to dig into the details, I encourage you to search “music and memory” for more fascinating findings on this correlation.
2. Music changes the atmosphere.
It’s true. When a totally great song comes on, it’s hard to stay cranky. Test my theory out right now! If you’re sitting in silence, turn on your favorite song as you read the rest of this blog post. Your heart will feel lighter.
When you are yelling at your little ones to pick up their toys, they don’t respond very well. But start singing “Clean up, Clean up, Everybody, Everywhere…” and they will think it’s a fun game (depending on how old they are :). A few other fun tunes to share:
While you’re making dinner: “Hey good lookin”
On your way to the car: “To the van, to the van, to the vanny van van van.” (This is one my mom made up so there isn’t a You Tube vid. It doesn’t have the same ring with SUV, but I’m sure all of you cool moms can figure something out!)
During bath time: “Bubble bath song”
If you or your kids have a hard time waking up in the morning, pick a song or two and play them loudly in your (or that respective child’s room) as they wake up! I suggest “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” or “Happy” by Pharrell, or any other feel good song that you love. It’s hard to keep sleeping through something so fun.
If you have a favorite album playing in the kitchen while your family gets ready for school or eats breakfast, it can help calm the stressful mood as everyone rushes around. Also, it will create powerful, fun family memories that you will be so thankful you have. When your kids are your age and they hear that old song come on the radio, they will be transported back to their childhood kitchen table.
3. Music is a FANTASTIC learning aid.
Who doesn’t want learning to be more fun? Not only that, but studies have shown that it’s easier to recall information when you learned it in the form of a song.
It’s as easy as popping a CD in while you drive. Before you know it, you have:
and anything else you want to know…memorized and engrained in your head! I honestly don’t think I could forget the 50 states in Alphabetical order if I tried. I learned them over 20 years ago through the state song!
Music can help you learn important information, and do so quickly. Can’t find a song for what you need to learn? Pick a tune you know well and put words to it! If your child has difficulty with grammar, spelling, math, or any form of memorization, MUSIC CAN HELP.
School House Rock is a great resource.
4. Music makes people happy
I try to bust into song as often as I can because it’s just too stinking cute to see my kids dance. Coleton (2) stomps his feet back and forth when he gets excited; we call them his “happy feet.” Annabelle (1) instinctively dances upon hearing music of any sort, and there’s no way you can look at her bouncing up and down, shaking her head side to side as fast as she can, without smiling.
Although my musical efforts have yet to completely cure toddler temper tantrums…they have definitely helped in so many other ways, including making our home a more joyful place to be. Whether you’re tone deaf or not, singing is fun and builds memories that you and your kids will cherish forever.
Make sure you “just keep singing…just keep singing…just keep singing, singing, singing…” even when your older kids roll their eyes and act embarrassed, because deep down they love it. I know because it used to be me.
What is your favorite or most meaningful song? What little jingles have you made up for your family? What cool and useful information has music helped you learn?