I’ve been ruminating on the nature of music lately. It is so much a part of our daily lives, that it has become almost an inextricable part of every activity we do. Driving from one appointment to the next incites a song on the nature of traffic, “Get out of my way, get out of my way, go on foolish driver, get out of my way!”
Needing to go to the bathroom turns into a song, and no, I’d best leave the details of those particular songs out of this post.
Should I Be Worried?
Should I be worried that my daughter’s three favorite songs are…
Of course she does like the Giggling Dragon cd quite a bit right now. Especially the Trouble With Trolls song…
Humming Classical Music
I am nearly 42 and for most of that time I’ve been under the assumption that I didn’t like classical music. How is it then that I find myself constantly humming it? And not just me, but Emily does it as well. I have no idea what we are humming, but I recognize from time to time. I find it amazing how much I enjoy the snatches of Bach or Beethoven (and so many more) that have imprinted themselves upon my brain.
In some ways, I find that not knowing the specific names of the composers or symphonies is of little consequence to the enjoyment I get out of hearing or humming the music.
Music As a Clue
“Listen Mama, the music just changed. Something is about to happen!” Emily said this to me the other day. I had told her about how music is used in movies to build suspense.
“There was this shark movie, called Jaws, and right before the shark would attack, the music would start in…’Da Na, Da Na, Da Na!,’ and that would be the clue to the audience that something terrible was about to happen.” I explained to her a week or more ago.
She took this in and has apparently been listening to the music for a while now, paying attention and waiting for the clues as to what might happen next.
Music As a Learning Tool
Mainly I think of Schoolhouse Rock here, although there are plenty of new educational music CDs out there. I find these to be catch as catch can. Some Emily likes and others she most certainly does not. Not all of the Beethoven’s Wig CDs have been a hit – #2 and #3 have been interesting for Emily but not #1 or #4. I couldn’t tell you why, it seems to be a matter of whimsy.
However, I do love the Multiplication Rock and at some times, so does Emily. Better yet, it has broadened her understanding of multiples of two and four. I see addition and multiplication taking place at the same time – and her abilities increasing – all thanks to a few fun songs on CD.
Music That MOVES Us
Have you ever listened to THAT song, the one that pulls at you in a way that affects something deep inside? As I type this, I’m listening to Evanescence’s Bring Me To Life on the heels of their other hit My Immortal. The article Music Psychology and Mental Health barely skims the surface of the possibilities of the psychological effects of music, but it does bring up an important point…
At the same time, parents should choose carefully the type of music they play for the baby and child, as well as what music the mother listens to while she carrying the baby in the womb.
I think my husband should have read that article before sharing with Emily some of his favorite songs! However, I find the songs she likes rather harmless. She likes them, and certainly doesn’t get the implied words of the Shaving Cream song. While I was pregnant with her I found myself instinctively turning away from my typical ‘heavy metal’ music. Blame it on hormones, or whatever, but the lyrics and hard beat just felt…wrong…somehow.
If you are interested in learning more about music and its effect on the human brain, check out this site.
Music in Action
As for me, I’m considering the following – I want to learn how to play the guitar. I’m hoping that Emily would be interested as well and that we could possibly find an instructor to teach both of us, at the same time. I think that learning the lessons together might help reinforce the learning and make it fun to practice together.
I’ve heard that music and mathematics are complementary, and that children who show an aptitude for one generally improve or show aptitude in the other. An article on The Correlation Between Music and Math explains it better than I can and gives me additional reason to want to take guitar lessons with Emily.
And with that thought…I think I’m off to research guitar lesson prices…