It is no secret that children love music. From singalongs in the classroom, to paddy-cake songs on the playground, children are often heard singing, whistling, and clapping to express their emotions and feelings. But did you also know that music can be a powerful tool to help your child focus, unwind, and relax? Here are some of the easiest ways you can introduce music into your home to help children engage their brains in new ways.
Learn a new instrument
Teaching a child with attention issues how to play an instrument may seem like a daunting task, but with help from the right teacher it can be a great way to engage new centers of their brain, and has been shown to have a positive impact on their ability to focus and build the logic centers of the brain.
When finding an instrument for your child be sure to choose together. You will need to find something that they are excited and interested to learn, and something that is manageable for your family. While your child may be dying to learn to play the drums, finding a more soothing alternative (like Marimba) may be a better compromise for the entire family.
There are many great music teachers available, and some who specialize in working with children who have attention and focus challenges. It is important to communicate with your child’s music teacher frequently, so that you can help support their learning throughout the process. Learning to play music takes repetition and patience, so working together with your child’s instructor will help you work as a team to build the best learning environment for your child.
Play music during homework
This trick may seem counterintuitive, but for many children having soft classical music playing in the background while they are studying or doing homework has been shown to have a positive impact on their focus and information retention.
When looking for background music, stick to classical pieces that have a steady and simple beat with no vocal accompaniment. The music should be played at a low volume so that it doesn’t cause damage to your child’s ears.
By playing music consistently when your child studies, their brains soon connect the music to needing to focus, and also helps eliminate other distracting noises that may be in the environment.
There are many playlists you can find online that are specifically built for focus and attention. So get your Spotify or Pandora account running, and investigate options that your child may enjoy and begin experimenting. If you are unsure where to start, we recommend Vivaldi’s Four Seasons — its steady rhythm and repeating musical themes make it a great choice for studying and homework.
Integrate music into bedtime
Many children with attention issues have difficulties unwinding and getting to sleep. Integrating music into their bedtime routine can be extremely powerful in helping them relax and train their bodies and minds to get ready for sleep.
During your bedtime routine, find a place that allows for soft soothing music to be played. Bath time can be a great way to integrate music into your child’s pre-bed experience. While they bathe, play relaxing music that your child can sing or hum along to. These activities help connect the body and mind, and children will be able to focus their attention in an enjoyable and relaxing way.
However you integrate music into your child’s life, you will find it can bring focus and enjoyment simultaneously. Let us know how your family has used music to help your child focus and unwind, or which songs they prefer.