One of the wonderful things about making music is that it is flexible, and can bend and change to best fit our needs. You can sing songs while washing hands, while getting dressed, while walking carefully by a road crossing, and in innumerable other situations. All these music making moments are little gems in our days, and bring joy and supported wellbeing wherever they are.
With this in mind, great value can also be found through making time to make or appreciate music intentionally, without simultaneous activity. These moments don’t need to be long or complicated, but can add value in the quiet moments and encourage stillness, mindfulness, or time to rest. Some examples of this will be found below.
If you have a little one that is phasing out of having one or all of their naps, quiet time can be such a valuable addition to your afternoon. In fact, even if your children are out of napping for many years, quiet time still holds some wonderful benefits.
Turning the lights down, creating a cozy space, and playing some soft music can encourage resting time without holding onto the nap routine specifically. This can act as a grounding exercise, and can allow anyone participating to mindfully take time to rest their bodies and minds and listen to some music.
Now, depending on the age of your children, this could greatly vary in timing, type of music, and whether it is an independently facilitated activity or not. For older children, it could be an option at any time, and has the potential of being a supportive tool for mental health and wellbeing, as well as stress management. With younger children, it is up to your routine and your comfort how this may be facilitated.
Intentionally taking a moment to express gratitude through music is a quick and simple way to add music for music’s sake into your day. This can be done in the form of a song to begin the day, before a meal, or before bed—or all of the above! There are likely other times that would suit as well, that could be discovered in your day.
These can begin as early childhood experiences, but may in fact continue into your children’s young adult and even adult lives. In my own home, we still pick up a pre-dinner thank you son every so often, because it now has even more meaning to us as adults. Pick what’s right for your family, and go from there!
These are only two examples of when you can make music intentionally in your lives, but I am sure that if you look at your routines, you will find other moments that make sense for your individual needs. And, if this is not possible at the moment, this is totally okay! There is no “better”, “ideal” or “only” way to make music, just the way that best suits you, and the life you lead.