I learned long ago in music appreciation class about the surreal power of music. Years later I felt that power as I sat in the front row of the music hall, with tears streaming down my cheeks, listening to a classical pianist’s rendition of Chopin. Music can evoke joy, peace and relaxation. It can also invigorate us, make us feel anxious, rage, and even confidence.
The effects of music is most prevalent in film. Music composers are just as crucial as the actors for their ability to shift our emotions moment to moment. Great composers have the ability to guide us through the journey as though we were a part of the action. They can convey through music the pain a character is feeling. They stir the depths of our imagination to conjure fear. Musical scores can arouse our hearts to feel compassion or love.
Music can set the mood whether it be in a film or in our homes. The rhythmic sounds of an electric fan, waves breaking on the shore or gentle bedtimes lullaby’s can lull a child to sleep. While the menacing metallic twang of a guitar, the raging beat of the drum and rock’n electronic vibes can of stir up fits of aggression and excitement. Music can heal. Studies have shown that music can lower the heart rate, regulate blood pressure and slow respiration. Music provokes memories and promotes creativity. Music can manage stress and ease physical and emotional pain.
As parents and caregivers we have an amazing powerful tool at our immediate disposal. When I was in college the field of Music Therapy was relativly new. Since then great strides have been made in understanding the vast effects of music on humans and animals as well. We can use the power of music to help cultivate a pleasant mood in our lively and often times chaotic homes. During the day when the kids are too full of energy we let them rock out to uptempo music until they collaspe exhausted. When the atmosphere becomes too negative we turn on soothing meditative music to calm them down. During dinner or before bed we play classical music to create a reverent ambiance. If your music library is limited try free programs such as Pandora or Rhapsody. Look up classical artists, yoga, meditation or acoustic. Enya Radio on Pandora is really nice and relaxing. Add a few candles to go with dinner and your tranquil music to set a lovely welcoming mood at your next dinner service.