Music is something that can be found in our home every day. I sing to my kids to be playful, when I want to entertain or pre-occupy them and when I want to calm them down. I’ll catch myself singing to myself when I’m happy. It always brings a smile to my face when I catch a glimpse of one of my boys humming, whistling or singing to themselves when they’re contentedly completing some daily task. Every so often my husband will break out his guitar so we can sing and worship God together as a family. I used to dabble in piano as a child. I still like to sit down to play and reminisce about the days when I would spend hours practicing. Music is soothing, calming, joyful, happy and at times inspiring.
At this stage of parenting, with a toddler and a baby in the house, music is a complete necessity! When crankiness sets in (either from me or one of my small children) music is sometimes the ONLY thing that will bring calm to the storm. My go to: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. I sing it at different speeds or different volumes depending on the desired effect needed. When I’m happy to entertain my kids it has a poppy kind of rhythm that we can dance to. We love to change the words to fit our moods, making up silly songs that make no sense at all. It’s a fun way to play. Of course when there’s crying and I need to calm my little ones down, I sing softly while I gaze into their eyes desperately trying to get their attention and distract them from their discomfort (or two year old tantrum). Maybe most important are bedtime lullabies. For the most part, I’ve conditioned my kids to fall asleep to the four same nursery rhymes that I’ve sung every night since they were babies. I have four boys. Two of them are old enough now that they want nothing to do with my singing bedtime routine. Despite what they want now, I’ve done the same thing with each of my children when they were babies, toddler or little guys. It all starts while they’re still nursing. Not only does the soft singing relax me, allowing my body to do what it needs to do for my baby, it’s always helped my little guys to relax and fall asleep easily. Once those babies turn in to toddlers I have to change it up. This is the age when Joseph, my husband gets to join in the bedtime fun! After a warm bath (which also involves singing) and calming lotion, I put them in warm jammies, give them their favorite toy, read them their special book, lay them down in their soft beds with the lights dimmed and sound machine gently whispering rain sounds into the room. When I start singing the four magical songs, they start to relax and fall asleep (usually. on those extra cranky days I have to go through the songs 2, 3, 4 ,5….. times). Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, You are my Sunshine, Lullaby and Goodnight, Hush Little Baby. I can sing these songs in my sleep. I’m pretty sure I have sung these songs in my sleep. Sometime I fall asleep while singing and laying next to my boy. Such sweet (and exhausting) moments. The credit goes to the singing. Because music soothes even the savage beast, right?
I first heard that saying, music soothes even the savage beast in my late teens while listening to The Offspring on their album Smash. I think of it sometimes when we’re in full crazy mode at my house. After doing a bit of research, I found that the phrase was actually coined by William Congreve who was a playwright/ poet. He wrote in The Mourning Bride, 1697, “music has charms to soothe the savage breast”. I’ve never heard of or seen, or read that play. I know nothing else about it. When you look even farther back in history, you’ll find that the origins of this phrase actually come from the Bible. In 1 Samuel 16:23 we read about the evil spirit that came on Saul. David would play his lyre, bringing relief to Saul, and the evil spirit would leave him. Music really can be a powerful force! Of course musical references are all over the Bible. Makes sense! I’ve found it to be the number one way to calm my family when things start to escalate out of control.
Yes, music can be found in my home in the form of lullabies, made up songs, humming, whistling, playing instruments and of course all of those musical baby toys that every baby just has to have. During the day, we almost always have music playing in the background. Since I homeschool my kids, our usual go to is classical music. I find that having classical music that takes real artistic talent to compose, music without words, soothe my kids the most while we focus on schoolwork. If we’re just hanging out together and I’m feeling a bit sassy, I’ll put on Country music. I love listening to Adult Alternative when I’m cleaning or feeling confident. Christian music is my favorite when we need to ground our thoughts and fill our minds with positivity and light. We even listen to the golden oldies as a family. We always have fun singing along and dancing to the upbeat tunes. There’s also a time for silence. We live in the country. When it’s silent, we can hear the wind rustling through the tree branches, birds chirping, our rooster crowing. When it rains we can hear the creek that runs next to our house, along with the hundreds of frogs that live there. I love that nature has its own kind of lovely music.
I’m so thankful for all of the different ways music impacts my life. From the sweet moments singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to my newborn baby, to dancing it out in my living room to The Killers with the whole family or enjoying popular music in the car. Worshiping God at home while my husband plays guitar, or at church with a talented praise team. Classical music streaming from my television, or the calm of nature while sitting on my back porch. All of it has its place and serves its purpose. The purpose of soothing, calming, adding joy, happiness, inspiration and beauty. Music soothes even the savage beast.