Seed & Song is dedicated to sharing wisdom, research, and practical ways to utilize music and yoga throughout the good and challenging days.
One of my mom tricks of the trade has been singing. If my daughter is crying, I sing. If it’s time for food, I sing. If we’re getting out of the bath, I sing. If she’s getting bored in the car, you guessed it…. I sing. We know that music is a full brain experience, meaning that it engages many parts of the brain all at once. I find that what this means for my daughter on a really practical level is that singing has the potential ability to:
Grab her attention. Sometimes this means distracting her from what she was fussing about
Cue behavior. Music is a powerful tool in helping to cue behavior. I have decided on certain songs that I sing for various parts of the day and it helps remind my daughter what is coming next. It can be a simple as a musical reminder for naps, one for food, and another for bedtime.
Encourage motor movement. Whether it is rolling over, crawling, standing up or clapping, add music to the day and my daughter is much more interested in moving her little body. Actually, these days the minute I start singing she is clapping her hands.
Facilitate speech development. Singing is engaging, structured and repetitive. This makes it a wonderful tool for modeling and engaging my daughter in exploring her voice.
Teach new skills. I’ve been dabbling with a little bit of sign language with my daughter. Showing her the signs in a song and practicing with the song is fun and it also helps her remember it.
I’ve found that the most important thing about singing with my baby is that there is no pressure and it’s all fun and sweet times together. I’ll explore some fun ways to create songs in the moment in another blog but for now get those vocal chords warmed up and start singing, even if it’s just Row, Row Your Boat all day long.
Music has a way of connecting us to our emotions. A certain song will trigger a memory from twenty years ago and we are back in the emotion of that time. It is truly incredible. At times when we feel stuck or we find ourselves pushing away certain emotions, music is a wonderful tool to help us reconnect and to dig deeper. Here are 4 simple tools to use music for emotional processing.
1. CREATE A SONG MAP: Whether it is the new job of mothering, a move, a loss of an irreplaceable loved one, or a new job; life is full of transitions. One way to work through the different aspects of each transition is through music. Is there a song that comes to mind when you think of the feelings you first felt when you found out about this transition? Is there a song that comes that represents what you are leaving behind with this new life? What about a song that speaks to where you are in this exact moment? Take some time and listen to these songs. They can help to map out the territory that is this new part of you and your life.
2. HIT REPEAT: Remember when you were 13 years old and you sat and listened to that song on repeat after your latest heartbreak? We often don't spend the time with music that we did in our adolescence but really should. Are the tears stuck inside? Is the anger just lying beneath the surface? Take some time with a song that you know will bring these emotions to the surface.
3. DIG DEEP: Take a song that really speaks to you and print out the lyrics. Take some time to listen to the music while looking at the lyrics. Underline a passage that perfectly speaks to you. Use this as a prompt for journaling, art or meditation.
4. CREATE: Take a song you love and play around with changing the lyrics to tell your own story. You can change just one word in a line or change a whole line. Who knows? You may love this so much that you'll decide to create your own song.