Family Music-Based Activities: How to Cultivate Routines Using Music

Heather Dean, MT-BC, Music Therapist

May 12, 2020

I hear many people state feeling kind of fuzzy with time right now. It can be comforting to have routines when grieving or feeling overwhelmed in general.

Do whatever works for your family, or if cultivating a routine right now just isn’t a priority – skip this! Also, some families like lots of music in the home, others might find it distracting or irritating. So again, do whatever works for YOUR family.

Morning Music

Time to get up? Is it 11 a.m. already? How about a gentle song your family would enjoy, like the Beatles “Here Comes the Sun” or maybe a classical piece like Peer Gynt “Morning Mood.”

Cleanup Time

Set a time before a predictable event like dinner, for five minutes of family pickup time, or the length of two songs.

Play Time

Set the bar for frivolity with fun activities for the family to do together or separately, such as music practice or music game time.

Dinner Music

Choose special background music that is relaxing, preferably with no words so the family can slow down and talk for a bit.

Evening Relaxation Time

Wind down before bed or set a moment for breathing. This could occur as needed anytime as well.

Transition Music

This is often a technique used in classrooms to signify that it’s time to move into the next activity. If your child has difficulty with transitions, such as in the middle of a game or project and doesn’t like to switch gears, you can play a song and say when this song is over it will be time to move to the next project, such as cleaning, online learning, etc. You can pick the same song each time, or any song you choose.

Stay tuned for more ideas from Heather’s Family Music-Based Activities series.

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