Music is powerful and is a part of almost every aspect of life today. Oftentimes, however, music simply becomes part of the background noise. Instead of just letting music fill the air with sounds, use the lyrics to help launch discussions between you and your child.
Not only will this give you a chance to connect, it gives you a glimpse into the things that are important in their lives and will help children develop the skill of listening critically to music. It offers an opportunity to ask, “What does this song mean?” and may inspire your child to evaluate the content of the music they enjoy.
Next time your child climbs in the car and takes control of the radio, don’t tune out. Tune in to the song and look for ways to start a conversation once the music is over. Don’t be afraid to turn off the radio and start talking. Not sure how to begin? A simple, “How did that song make you feel?” is an easy way to begin the conversation.
Want to jump-start a conversation without waiting for a song to come on the radio? Dig out your old CDs or queue up some of these songs on your playlist and start listening (and talking). Some songs lend themselves to a discussion about particular themes or ideas. Here are a few to help you get started:
What a Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Dear Jessie - Madonna
Space Oddity - Chris Hadfield
Brave - Sara Bareilles
Happy - Pharrell Williams
Home - Philip Phillips