Little girl cuddling her teddy

The power of MUSIC in stressful times

These are such uncertain times! There are so many thoughts flooding through my brain constantly. It’s making my brain feel foggy and affecting my sleep. Can you relate?

As parents, we have the responsibility and privilege of caring for and nurturing our tribe through this season. So, it’s not just about looking after ourselves and managing our own pressures and concerns. We need to have the energy and capacity to help our little ones too.

Living in a pressure cooker!

And the pressure is on! Many of us are juggling pressured, unusual work-from-home dynamics. We’re schooling children who aren’t used to being schooled at home. We’re managing the household without our amazing domestic help. And part of the added pressure, is that we want to do this as well as we possibly can!

We want to arrive on the other side of this season as strong as we can be, both physically and emotionally.

Can MUSIC help us?

MUSIC is my passion – it’s the driving force behind Wriggle and Rhyme. So, I thought I’d share some of the research behind how MUSIC can help us in this stressful season.

Can music help us to manage our stress levels and help our children manage theirs? The answer is a resounding YES!

Music and emotions

Music can have a profound effect on our emotions. I’m sure you can relate to that from your own experience!

Faster, more upbeat music helps us to feel more energetic and alert. It can also affect how we feel, making us more positive and emotionally upbeat.

Little girl enjoying music

Slower, calmer music helps us to feel more relaxed. It can soothe us and help to slow down and “quieten” busy thoughts.

What does science tell us?

So, what’s the science behind this experience of music? What’s actually happening in our bodies that allows music to have this effect on our stress levels and emotions?

A symposium at STANFORD UNIVERSITY in the USA in 2006 shared ideas on the therapeutic benefits of music.

Research was highlighted which confirms our personal experiences with music’s effect on our emotions.

Directly quoting – “Current findings indicate that music around 60 beats per minute can cause the brain to synchronize with the beat causing alpha brainwaves (frequencies from 8 – 14 hertz or cycles per second). This alpha brainwave is what is present when we are relaxed and conscious. To induce sleep (a delta brainwave of 5 hertz), a person may need to devote at least 45 minutes, in a relaxed position, listening to calming music.”

https://news.stanford.edu/news/2006/may31/brainwave-053106.html

Research suggests that listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication.

Researchers noted that music is something that almost anybody can access and that makes it an easy stress reduction tool.

What type of music helps?

So, the research is all good and well … but we don’t actually know the exact beats per minute in music, so how do we know what type of music will help us?

Research suggests that gentle, easy listening music with strings, flute, pan pipe, drums works best. Music infused with sounds of nature has also proved to be helpful.

Common sense prevails

But, in reality, common sense prevails. Choose music that you enjoy and that you know relaxes you.

Be mindful about the mood in your home, and choose background music to help, not hinder. For example, if you’re all needing to quieten down and focus on work, choose calming music that will set the right mood.

Here are some examples that you might enjoy:

How about creating a BED- / REST-TIME SOUND CLOUD for your children? Let them climb into bed with some beautifully calming music in the background.

Alternatively, if you’re all needing to get moving and do some exercise, choose upbeat, energising music that will get you going.

Drowning out the noise

Robin Spielberg, a renowned contemporary pianist and composer, tells a very personal story about the healing power of music. Her experiences inspired her to share how music makes an impact on our well-being and helps us through difficulties. Listen to her amazing story here:

If you’re interested in reading more – have a look at this link:

http://www.musictherapy.org

The new normal

At Wriggle and Rhyme, we’re looking forward to discovering what our NEW NORMAL will look like in the wake of COVID-19.

But, one thing is for sure! MUSIC has an incredible ability to help us through this uncertain season.

So, harness the power and gift of MUSIC to help you and your family navigate these times. Use MUSIC to help you manage your emotional and physical wellbeing.

Sending you all much love on behalf of the Wriggle and Rhyme team,

Kirsty Savides – Founder and Programme Director

Wriggle and Rhyme is a unique, proudly South African music programme for babies, toddlers and Pre-schoolers. We hope to welcome you back to classes in our NEW NORMAL!

In the meantime, please check out our FREE MUSICAL FUN WITH FROGGY episodes at http://www.wriggleandrhyme.co.za/fun

http://www.wriggleandrhyme.co.za/our-classes