Do you listen to music every day? How about multiple times per day? How does it affect your mood?
Last week, the music app on my phone popped up and displayed how many hours of music I listened to in 2016. It was an impressive amount. The notice had me thinking about how much I play music and how I think it makes me a happier, more balanced person.
Every morning when I wake up my kids to eat breakfast and prepare for the day, I have music playing. I purposely play songs they like and created a playlist for them. I love seeing them go from tired, grumpy girls to dancing, silly individuals.
Music really makes a difference in our family’s life. On a bad morning, just a few days ago, I had to constantly stay on my four year old to get her dressed and moving more quickly. I found myself frustrated and I yelled at her too. After I finally placed her into the car seat, we drove along in the van to school. I put on music. Within minutes my mood shifted. Together we began singing, dancing and smiling.
I try to play a variety of tunes for my children too. One of the vivid memories I have as a kid was my father playing music from the stereo, album player or CD player (yes, those old devices!) on weekends. My parents’ musical taste spanned a good range. I think they played it all – Neil Diamond, Gloria Estefan, Kenny G, Credence Clearwater Revival, Lionel Ritchie, Elvis, The Beatles, Reba McIntyre, Cajun and zydeco and whatever pop music was playing on the current radio stations too. My mom even liked the Backstreet Boys!
This is one tradition I’m passing down to my daughters. I play them all types of music.
Sometimes when we aren’t talking or don’t want to have conversation, putting on the music helps us bond. We sing songs together. I sing badly but Vivian has a great voice. Lana sounds cute because she’s so little. But together we could form our own singing girl group.
Our dog even jumps into the act too. So we pull him up on two legs and dance with him too.
So if I could add just one more goal for 2017, besides just spending time with my family, it would be to play more music. Play more funky music.
I’ll look for more songs and artists that I haven’t yet shared with my kids. I believe musical diversity makes me a more creative, appreciative person. Most of all, I think it makes me happier. Because when I’m sad or stressed, I find a song that helps me vent those feelings. Then I feel better.
I recall my daughter’s piano teacher telling me that she plays music and bangs on those piano keys to help her de-stress and get her emotions out too. I wish I knew how to play an instrument. I often write to fuel those tense times. But playing music in the background helps.
Now that music is so portable and available, it’s much easier to access it to formulate a better attitude.
I notice when my kids enjoy a song from a movie we watch. So I use that opportunity to later play that same tune and look for similar artists. Then I create a new playlist for them. We have, for example, from watching films created a Julie Andrews, Disney Princesses, Taylor Swift, Guardians of the Galaxy soundrack, Meghan Trainor, KC and the Sunshine Band playlist. This all began because I watched my girls light up when they heard songs by these musicians.
I no longer feel embarrassed for playing or liking any type of artist either. I fully admit I have played the Disney Frozen soundtrack song “Let it go,” in my minivan when my kids were not even in the vehicle. And I sang it like I was performing on a Broadway stage!
There have been times in my car that I have acted like such a fool singing Eminem or Queen. But honestly, who cares? It was fun! I likely burned a few calories too.
Play some music after you read this. Play more music in your day. Sing songs and dance. Expose your kids and friends to new songs that really speak to you.
Play more funky music my friends.