I love observing my one and two-year-old nieces and nephews every time I turn on my electronic piano. They all immediately start dancing and singing when they hear the music and the drum beats.
This is such a wonderful sight to see. As my nieces and nephews run through the house singing the words “Let It Go” from the animated movie Frozen, it is obvious to me that catchy songs stay in their heads.
What you hear you become
There is a saying in India, “what you see you become.”
I think we can apply this to music, “what we hear we become.” Children pick up what is in their environment. They often copy their parents. If there is music with positive, meaningful messages, children are bound to absorb the meanings of the lyrics into their consciousness.
Songs in my new CD You’re a Hero contain timeless words of wisdom — practical principles of life every child should grow up learning.
I wish I had grown up with the knowledge in these songs, rather than listening to meaningless children’s songs or, in later years, songs about falling in love or breaking up.
How music affects children’s brains
There is a lot of research on the benefits of music and a child’s brain development.
Studies show that musical training can lead to improvement in test scores and IQ levels in young children and teens. There is also the suggestion that engaging a toddler in musical activities could be more beneficial even than reading.
Emerging research shows dramatic effects of lyrics in music on adolescent’s behavior and emotions. Music and music videos containing violence, sexual messages, and sexual stereotypes might produce significant changes in behaviors and attitudes of young listeners.
In fact, a recent study linked sexualized lyrics to an increase in risky sexual behavior among adolescents. Another study showed that repeated exposure to violent lyrics leads to violent thoughts and could even cause the development of an aggressive personality.
What about the effects of violent lyrics on young children? One can imagine that if negative lyrics affect teenagers they would also have a damaging influence on young children.
For example, the lyrics to the nursery rhyme Old Mother Hubbard are probably not going to send your child to sleep with sweet dreams:
“Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor dog a bone;
But when she got there
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.
She went to the baker’s
To buy him some bread,
But when she came back
The poor dog was dead.”
How about Jack and Jill?
Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water;
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.
Up Jack got, and home did trot,
As fast as he could caper,
To old Dame Dob, who patched his nob
With vinegar and brown paper.
then Jill came in, and she did grin,
To see Jack’s paper plaster;
Her mother whipped her across her knee,
For laughing at Jack’s disaster.”
Frankly, I don’t know what these authors were thinking when they wrote these nursery rhymes.
Do you have difficulty putting your children to bed?
While you might want to avoid certain nursery rhymes at bedtime, in general, soothing songs and lullabies are a useful tool for parents to help their children fall asleep.
The comforting melodies on You’re a Hero have a calming influence when children and adults listen to them. A cousin of mine plays the CD when she is putting her children to bed to help them settle down.
If the last thing children hear before drifting into sleep is a positive message, it could help bring good dreams and restful sleep.
Parents want to see change in the world
Parents everywhere are concerned about the state of the world today, especially about the future of their children.
It is this next generation of children that will solve the problems of the world, but they need as much guidance as possible. The powerful medium of music can be another positive source to help guide our children.
The principles I bring out in the songs on “You’re A Hero” are much-needed wisdom, especially during this precarious time of terrorism, global warming, and extreme negativity in politics.
“Peace Begins Within”— a song on my CD — is a concept that every child needs to understand starting from a young age.
“The World Is As We Are” is another song that echoes this same idea. They should also know that anything is possible and that they can fulfill their dreams.
Lyrics full of wisdom along with soothing melodies are a must for these troubled times. In this way, we can raise the next generation to be peace-loving and wise young adults!
About the author: Ann Purcell is an award winning author and musician whom has been teaching meditation around the world since 1973. Ann currently oversees the teaching of Transcendental Meditation in girl’s schools and communities in several countries in Africa. In addition, she has worked on curricula and course development for universities and continuing education programs. Her latest book, The Transcendental Meditation Technique and the Journey of Enlightenment was published on March 13, 2015 and her 7th album was released earlier this month (August 2016).
Disclosure: This is a sponsored guest post. All views expressed are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Soccer Mom Blog.
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