Posts Tagged 'the gift of music'

The Healing Magic of Music Making

Music ManI think I’ve always known instinctively that music is good for you.  When I engage in music making I feel happy. But it’s more than just happy. I can feel endorphins running through my body and stress leaving it. It’s like the rush of finishing a race combined with the calming effects of a massage. It’s wonderful.

So I decided to learn more about this wonderful aspect of my life to see if the positive effects perhaps could reach further than just my mood, and what I found I just have to share. I came across studies showing that when we listen to music that we enjoy, the brain actually releases dopamine in the body. No wonder if feels so good! But I found more than just that! I found a study showing music reducing or in some cases even blocking pain sensation in the body!
The most moving story I found as I researched was that of a 76 year old woman who needed surgery. When she arrived at the hospital her blood pressure was too high for the surgery to safely be performed. There wasn’t sufficient time for medication to bring it down to a safe level, so instead she sang. She said she often did that to calm herself and help herself to sleep. And as she sang her blood pressure dropped. Her doctors encouraged her to continue singing and soon enough she was cleared for the surgery she needed.
To me, just the simple joy that comes from music making is reason enough to do it. When you then add in the vast array of other benefits it brings, the choice seems clear. Have you had your daily dose of music today?
Jessica Green
Music Together Teacher

Five Fun Ways to Create Holiday Memories with Music

gift of music“Can we sing the one that goes like, ‘My paddle’s keen and bright flashing with sil-VER, follow the wild goose flight, dip dip and swing.’”

This was the voice of a 6-year-old that I have been watching since she was a tiny 15-month-old. We attended Music Together classes for over two years prior to me teaching and I have been teaching now for more than three years. At this point, she has heard every Music Together song in some capacity. However, I was SHOCKED to hear her singing “Canoe Song,” a song from the Bongos Collection, because we usually sing whatever is new and current in our brains. Right now, I’m much more prone to break out into “Hey Lolly” or “Vengan a Ver”—something from the current collection!

She then went on to tell me that she had learned a different version of “Canoe Song” at school, but said that she wanted to sing it with me because she had sung it with me first. While she may not have remembered the song explicitly on its own, something was activated in her brain when she learned a different version of it in school. The memory of singing it with me first was still there from five years ago!

I share this story because even though I know how important my influence is on this child’s life (as her nanny), I sometimes forget this from time to time. It is so important to remember how powerful our voices are to our children. They may not always show it, but they are always paying attention. They are so tuned into the voices of those they are emotionally attached to. Whether we are singing or talking, they are hearing it and taking it into their very being.

The holidays are coming and along with that comes a lot of food, family, and presents. However, once the food is eaten and the presents are unwrapped, what will remain?

Here are five fun ways to play with music during the holidays to create fond holiday memories:

  • Put on some music and dance and sing as you decorate or wrap presents.
  • Sing songs from the Flute CD or your favorite holiday tunes when you are driving in the car to run errands or visit relatives.
  • Sing “The Hello Song” and “Goodbye Song” to all of the relatives you visit with this season.
  • Look through previous Music Together songbooks and CDs and revisit your favorites. See if you can put a new holiday twist on some of them: “My tree is green and bright, flashing with ornaments…”
  • Conduct a jam session with your family to your favorite holiday songs! No need for fancy instruments—pots, pans, tupperware, and wooden spoons will work just fine.

Please leave a comment and let us know how you are bringing music making into your holiday season. Whatever ways you choose to play, you will be creating musical memories that will last a lifetime for both you and your child.

Meg Rivera
Music Together Teacher

The Joy of Family Music

Heartsong Music teaches Music Together®, the internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program for children from birth through grade two and the adults who love them.

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