How I Use Music As A Powerful Tool In My Family
I love music. And I love to dance. In my house, a flash dance party or sing along can break out at any time and anywhere. My diva princess daughter usually grabs the microphone spoon, my son plays air guitar, and I usually play the broom—I find it has better acoustics.
Since I was a young girl in dance school, dancing was always a form of release and music was a powerful tool for connecting with my emotions, and a way to alter or escape a mood.
But when you become a mom, music becomes all about your kids. You play Mozart to them in the womb so they will be smarter—even if you hate Mozart. You sing those damn kiddie songs over and over to teach them concepts, keep them occupied in the car or from hurting each other.
Even now I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t listening to Disney radio in the car. I don’t play commercial radio when my kids are in the car—it’s always kiddie stations or my pre-made CDs, but I always kick myself when I find myself in the car kid-less and I’m still listening to Disney radio. Arrggh!
Lately, music has taken on a new meaning in our home—a teaching tool, and yes, brainwashing tool too. And when my children or our family has faced a dilemma, I’ve often turned to music to soothe the way.
For example, after my husband left, "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge became our weekly and sometimes daily anthem. I wanted my children to know that we were still a family—just a different kind of family. And so we had a Friday night dance party to the song and changed the lyrics adding our own names.
When I saw my daughter slipping into a quiet shell after her father moved out, we sang Hannah Montana’s, "Make Some Noise," everyday on the way to school—often with me crying. Do you know that one?
“Don't let anyone
Tell you that you're not strong enough
Don't give up
There's nothing wrong with just being yourself
That's more than enough
So come on and raise your voice
speak your mind and make some noise”
That one still gets me. And so does, “The Climb” by Hannah Montana.
Anywho, recently, after accompanying me on a few high-profile media trips—all job perks-- and having some other special opportunities, I noticed my children developing a bad case of the “I wants” well beyond what they really needed. They were lacking appreciation and forgetting the simple things of life.
For this dilemma, I took it back to the Beatles and “All You Need is Love.” I started playing the song during dessert, and we started singing the chorus and learning the words. I asked my children about the meaning behind the words, like, when he says, “Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.”
I love that line. Especially for myself.
It was great to teach them that all you need is love and everything else is easy. And when I saw my daughter had written one line from the song and pinned it on her wall—“There’s nothing you can do but learn how to be you in time”—I knew everything was going to be alright.
Thank you music.