Family Music-Based Activities: Getting to Know You

May 8, 2020

Heather Dean, MT-BC, Music Therapist

For all our families in bereavement and for my children in music therapy bereavement: I am thinking about you all during this time of isolation and I MISS YOU! I hope this series of ideas and activities will offer some comfort to your families. There are many options to choose from for music activities for relaxation, entertainment, family bonding, and education. Lots of online and technology resources, but also some that do not require a screen. Please enjoy and take care everyone!

Idea #1: Getting to Know You

Do a puzzle or take time to color together or whatever craft sounds simple and fun for you and your family. It could just be with one or two family members, or more; you choose.

As you engage with your activity, set up a speaker and take turns playing favorite songs. This is a great time to learn about each other’s interests and inner thoughts.

Great questions to ask after hearing your child’s song:

  • What do you like about that song?
  • What do you think about the lyrics (or maybe a certain lyric stood out that you want to highlight)?
  • What does this song remind you of?
  • How does this song make you feel?

This is a no judgement zone. Your child may not love your music and will say so, but be sure to model tolerance here – unless you want to start with boundaries, like no swearing in the lyrics etc.

You may get a lot of: “I don’t know. I just like it…” answers. That is OK. The point is that your child is sharing their music with you. That alone is special. You can drive the questions or comments as you feel comfortable, come up with your own, or don’t press if your child feels uncomfortable.

When it’s your turn to share your song: Your child is likely not going to want to ask you questions about the song. You can offer your own reasons you chose it to share:

  • “This song reminds me of…”
  • “I like to listen to this song whenever I feel…”
  • “This song makes me want to dance.”
  • “This song is so relaxing for me.”
  • “I love this lyric….I think it’s good advice. What do you think?”

Again, you’re the driver. You can decide if you are exhausting your child with talking or if you think opening conversation is helpful. You can also pick your own questions/ideas. You are sharing something about you too, just by sharing your music.

Stay tuned for more ideas from this series.

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