“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, life to everything.” –Plato
Music is such a gift. I was blessed to grow up in a home where music was as much a part of our lives as school and sports. When I was young, I didn't realize belting out the lyrics to a song while I was in public was uncommon. My family singing two and three part harmonies while driving in the car was a normal part of life, and I assumed it was this way in all families until I rode with my friends.
To prepare for tests, I would turn vocab words and definitions into catchy little tunes. Dealing with middle and high school drama had me locking myself in my room with a guitar and printed tabs to play through my heartaches and fears. Since I started a family of my own, music has been included as well. We do nightly dance parties and make-up songs on the ukelele to go along with our daily activities. Music is like breathing to us.
But it's not for everyone.
Sure people enjoy music, but many don't know there are several benefits to adding music to our daily lives. Music is beneficial physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It's a medicine that treats ourselves as a whole being.
Here are a few benefits:
1. Music distracts us. We relate music to many of our memories. When we need to distract ourselves, music can take us to another time in our lives — a better time — and we can sit in that special time for as long as we need.
2. Music provides pain relief.
3. Music strengthens the mind's memory and reasoning skills.
4. Music helps us focus.
These are some valid reasons to include music in your life, but if you're upbringing is different, you may be asking: “How do I begin to implement music if it's foreign to me?”
Here are some ways you can strategically incorporate music:
1. Morning routine.
Do you have trouble staying awake once you're up? Turn on some music that energizes you. Find music that empowers and motivates you to tackle the day ahead and add this type of music to your daily morning routine.
2. Commute to work.
Sure, you often have the radio playing in the background, but half the time you listen to radio host's banter and lengthy business commercials. Be strategic and set up a playlist on Spotify or Pandora for your commute to work! Do you need time to focus and meditate before a fast-paced job? Turn on some classical or acoustic music. Maybe you have a job that's on the “boring” side; in that case, some hip hop or rock may be just what you need for some extra energy!
3. Transitions at home.
Something we love to do as a family at home is to turn on music that symbolizes each transition. Relaxing music to prepare for naptime, classical music during our afternoon teatime, and rock music after dinner for some family fun! This gives our kids a great musical variety while also symbolizing certain parts of our day, so they feel as though we have a routine that we so often lack.
4. Workout music.
Working out isn't my thing, but I know many of you may rely on music to give you the endurance you may not have, otherwise. Music drowns out your heavy breathing during weightlifting and helps you run to a beat so that you can go further and longer.
Gather around the piano or turn back on the Spotify station for some relaxing music before bedtime. Music can help you put your thoughts on hold and take in the beauty of the lyrics or the notes. Let the music take you to a positive place before you go to sleep.
How do you add music into your life? Tell us in the comments!