How To Calm Your Kids Down With Music

As told by my grandmother:

As a grandmother of four grandchildren under the age of five, it’s often overwhelming when they all come over to my house for a visit. On the occasions that I have been left alone with them, babysitting or just playing with them, they often become boisterous and loudly competitive, sometimes difficult to control.

One day, anticipating their arrival, I decided to turn on some quiet, soothing music and to have it playing during their visit. I wondered if it would help keep them calmer and, hopefully, more quiet than usual, (I already had a slight headache, even before their arrival). My oldest grandson noticed the music. I asked him if he liked it, and he said yes, that it sounded like “sleepy music,” so I left it on, quietly in the background.

After about a half hour, I noticed, (happily, I might add), that the children were playing “nicely” together, and that the atmosphere was generally less noisy and more relaxed than on previous visits. And my headache, (albeit with the aid of an aspirin), was noticeably better.

Upon reflection, I considered that the change in their general behavior was largely due to the calming influence of the music. I was reluctant to challenge my hypothesis by changing to more upbeat music, as I was enjoying the peaceful atmosphere too much and didn’t want to risk it. But I was impressed with the obvious power inherent in music and how conducive it was for a peaceful experience .

When I was a music student studying Music Therapy, I learned that it is therapeutic to match a patient’s mood with music of the same or similar mood. This surprised me, because I thought that if a particular patient was, for example, depressed, then wouldn’t it follow that, in order to help the patient out of depression, it would be more helpful to play “happy’ music? Not so, according to the music therapy experts. It is apparently preferable to allow the particular mood rather than fight it, as the patient often experiences more agitation when listening to music opposite their mood.

Maybe it was a lucky coincidence that my grandchildren were calmer and more mellow than usual that day maybe the music actually matched their moods. I wonder, which actually came first their moods or the music? I think that either case is feasible: sometimes a mood might be improved upon with the judicial use of appropriate music and conversely, music can possibly aggravate a given mood. I find it interesting that music can support emotions or exacerbate them.

It was a lovely afternoon with the grand-kids. Maybe the music assisted them in achieving a more peaceful afternoon at their grandmother’s house. I know one thing, they were visibly more relaxed, more attentive to storytelling and story books and less combative and aggressive. Maybe I just got lucky that day. Perhaps I’ll test my theory further another day during another visit, but I’ll make sure that I don’t have a headache if I do.

Source:->Patrice Cosier  
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