Spring has arrived here in our lovely area and you can feel everyone breathing a little lighter. It’s been a hard year – there’s no other way to say it. Just the other weekend I was speaking with some friends and they were commenting on how tired they are feeling these days. The reality is, we have been living in a very different emotional and mental state than what we have become accustomed to. Our internal systems are bound to be tired.
We have been on a sort of “high alert” for over a year now, and there’s still a long way to go. Our bodies are not used to this and I find as a parent, we are doing our best to protect our children from too much stress and trying to make things “normal” when there’s nothing really normal anymore. Our bodies and minds need a break; a reset…maybe a bath .
As a child I took a bath all the time. Showers started most likely in junior high – it’s hard to remember where the switch happened. It’s the same for my kids these days – the boys are getting older now and have more activities that require cleaning up afterwards. The shower seems to be the quicker solution for them. But if I fill the tub and they hop in…they are in there for a long time and always say they feel so much better afterwards.
In our Kindermusik classes, we talk to parents a lot about making time for relaxation as part of their daily routine. We know how important it is for a child to learn to regulate – to be able to take a deep breath, relax, and let the brain catch up to all the wonderful things we do not only in our classes, but all day long.
That’s why in most of our classes we take about 1-2 minutes and have a “music bath”. We don’t always call it that, but that is essentially what we are doing: lying down with the lights out, snuggling with our littles, and letting the music selection featured roll over our bodies, into our ears and through our souls. I wish you could all be there to experience the beauty.
When I first started teaching Kindermusik, I found “Quiet Time”, or this music bath concept, the hardest part of the lesson to facilitate. I was an eager 25-year-old with so much energy. Taking a moment in class to stop everything, turn down the lights and listen to music seemed awkward to me.
But I wasn’t full in tune with my body then, or the positive effects that this had for not only the children, but also the caregivers and myself. Now, as a mother of three kids and a busy life, I look forward to every single quiet time I can find?.
And I feel so fortunate to be able to witness this special time with so many families. It is such a cherished time in our classes that as soon as an educator goes for the light switch, the children all lay down, and snuggle in with their special someone. They need it. We need it. YOU need it.
Regardless of what age and stage you are at with your life, I promise you, you need a music bath. It’s simple, takes only 1-3 minutes, and will give you that reset that your body and brain needs.
So I challenge you to take these steps today, and I’ll share with you what I share with my families in class:
- Your Quiet Time/Music Bath needs to be its own activity – not right before bed or nap
- Use a sound source that does not require you to look at a screen – if you play music from your phone, make sure to have it far away from you once you decide on the piece
- Use a speaker so that the music can fully resonate in the space – you don’t get a bath by splashing a couple of drops on your wrist ?
- Decide beforehand what piece you want to listen to – trying to decide in the moment will lead you down a media rabbit hole. Take time to make a playlist that you can keep adding to later
- Turn out the lights, find a comfortable position, and just listen - and breathe.
- Your Music Bath can be an individual activity, or done as a bonding time with others – your children will love you for it
Once you get into a routine of this activity, notice how you feel. It may take a while to figure out what songs resonate with you on certain days, but that’s the beauty of the activity. You may find that this leads to other times in your day when you will lean to music. I cannot express how beneficial (well, I could, but that’s a whole other post) bringing music into your life for the enjoyment of listening, creating and simply being is. So many times I have heard during this pandemic “now more than ever we need the arts”. It’s true. Music can heal the soul. It regulates our bodies and minds.
Give yourself the reset you need.
To get you started, I’ve got some suggestions of three Spotify playlists that may help create this time for you. You know you best so start making your own list, but these are great to dive right in:
- Disney Lullaby Playlist – all your fav Disney songs acoustic piano & guitar with no vocals:
2. Sailing to Dreamland – one of my favourite restful Kindermusik albums:
3. Classical Piano Essentials – just gorgeous – River Flows in You is my latest go-to on this list
Think of taking a Music Bath the way you may think of enjoying a great cup of coffee or tea. No distractions, holding the cup and sitting in your favourite place. Remember that we’ve all been through a lot and we need to take care of ourselves to be our best selves.