My husband and I argue about music all the time. If we’re being honest, it is probably worse in the car. If I am going to listen to music, I want it to be something I definitely like and probably also want to sing to. I’m the type of person who likes to have all the radio presets set to stations that I deem acceptable and I will click through them to figure out what is on and what I most want to listen to before making a final choice. It is enough to drive my copilot bonkers, which is why it is just as easy to not listen to music. Which, I am totally ok with, because I actually prefer the intellectual stimulation of talk radio.
Dan would much rather listen to music. Loudly.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found music to be more and more obtrusive. Background music makes it nearly impossible to follow a conversation, whether it be in the car or around a dinner table. I have not gone to a doctor about this, but I do have a family history of hearing loss. Understandably, this gives me a shaky relationship with music.
I’m not anti-music though, as my husband likes to claim. I do enjoy music at the right time and place and volume. I have favourite songs. I love singing. I grew up playing the piano. And I do like to have music on in the background at a dinner party, assuming it is at a low enough volume that I can hear the conversation happening around me.
Recently, Dan asked if we could put his guitar in the living room on display. It would encourage him to play, he told me. He’s been on me about trying to live more minimalist lately, but I’m actually the one who hates adding more furniture to our rooms. But ok. Because you want to. It won’t take up that much space.
In the days following the addition to the guitar in our living room, we have also added a lazy-boy from the basement because he needed somewhere to play, the keyboard from storage because I should play with him, a box of musical instruments for the kids, and an amp. This isn’t even mentioning the three guitars that have been added to our bedroom since, but I don’t really know why.
While I do currently dislike the new configuration of the living room, I’m conflicted because I am loving how musical our family is getting! Some nights, the five of us sing and dance and play music before bed. (You’re welcome, neighbours). Sometimes Dan and I put our measly guitar and keyboard talents to use and try to make a song sound half decent together. One night, we jammed with some friends who came over for dinner to play board games (which is the actual answer to why three more guitars appeared upstairs). As for me, I’ve pulled out some of my old piano books and am really appreciating the opportunity to play again. It has been years and I have apparently missed it.
My family is really good at making noise (she types, as her toddlers screams his head off beside her because no, you cannot have yet another marshmallow. And no, you cannot drink my coffee and push these keyboard buttons.) There is something really beautiful in having us all come together to make noise (even if it doesn’t sound traditionally beautiful.)
Music is an essential part of childhood development. “Studies have shown that music can help with language skills, develop fine motor skills, and improve one’s overall IQ.” (Source). This is certainly true with my kids, two of whom definitely seemed to have taken to singing faster than talking. Logan, the “baby” at 1 and a half years doesn’t feel the need to learn any words but tries very hard to get the sounds he hears in songs.
We are all liking the extra music in our house. Even me. I guess I can officially say, we’re totally “rocking” this parenting thing. (See what I did there?)
One way to get more music into your kids’ lives is to introduce them to the music that you think is awesome. Check out Netflix’s new children’s series called Beat Bugs, a cute animated show set to Beatles songs. My kids were shocked when their dad started singing along to the songs in the show. “Have you seen this show before?”. What a cool way to connect with our kids! As for Dan, he approves of the show too. “This is an above average kid show,” he said. “There are parts that aren’t horribly obnoxious.” Thanks for the glowing review, love.
Speaking of which, I’m giving away THREE MONTHS of FREE NETFLIX (open to residents of Canada excluding Quebec)!!!! All you have to do is share a video (or a pic – I’ll accept a pic too) of you jamming with your kids. (Don’t have kids? Get creative! Jam alone. Or with a dog! Or a friend! Or a pineapple!). Share with me on social media (and leave a comment here too when you do it!) Make sure you tag me @LauraORourke on Twitter or @LauraLORourke on Instagram and use the hashtag #BeatBugs when you post. You get an extra entry if your submission is a video of you guys singing All You Need Is Love! We were going to do that… but we had to stick with what Dan knew on guitar. I’ll choose the winner on September 15, 2016. And please note, if you’ve already won on another StreamTeamer’s Beat Bug giveaway, you will not be eligible to win this one. If you submitted but didn’t win, feel free to submit to me!!!
This post was inspired by Netflix. I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and as such I have been compensated for this post with a complimentary Netflix subscription and a few other perks. I’m honoured to have been a StreamTeam member for the last three years. The stories and opinions are all my own.