Making The Most of Music With Kiddos
Sarra Erb, Board Certified Music Therapist
Music is a fun, interactive, and useful tool that can engage your children at home! You don’t have to be the world’s best singer or play an instrument to utilize the helpful side effects of making music!
Bonding with your child can be enhanced with the simple use of music. Studies show that relationships were pointedly stronger for mothers who sang to their babies versus mothers who do not sing to their babies. Parents have reported increased closeness to their children by participating in shared parent-child musical experiences, in comparison to those participating in non-musical play. So, pull out some instruments with your kiddos (pots and pans, wooden spoons, spices, etc.) and start singing your favorite songs!
Musical based activities have been shown to have positive effects on both the hedonic (pleasure) and eudaemonic (meaning) aspects of well-being in children. By using music in the home, it can encourage redirection of unwanted behaviors to more productive behaviors. For example, if you’re having trouble with responsibilities, play preferred song of your child and see how many toys they can pick up before the song finishes. Once they’ve finished the task, reward with a celebration dance party or a sing along to another favorite song.
If your child has difficulty listening to instructions, singing the directions can be a useful way to reengage their mind on the task at hand. Sometimes singing in front of others can be embarrassing, but don’t worry! Your kiddos love you regardless of if you’re a professional singer or not. This is an effective tool for shaking up typical instruction routine and can help them be more excited to finish the job.
Let music help you as you navigate parenthood!
Liddiard, E., & Rose, D. (2021). A Pilot Study of an Intervention for Children Using Music Listening and Music Making to Explore Core Emotions and Support Wellbeing. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 09(03), 329–364. https://doi.org/10.4236/jss.2021.93022
Steinberg, S., Liu, T., & Lense, M. D. (2021). Musical Engagement and Parent-Child Attachment in Families With Young Children During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.641733