Freeman Medical Musings Blog


Relaxation Skills: Music

Posted by Dr. Kimberly Fielding, on July 23, 2015

There is something magical about the effects of music. It enhances our creative expression. This factor is important because some children lose their creative refueling due to trauma or challenges.

Encouraging creative expression through music can help facilitate relaxation. Sometimes, vibrant moves with an air guitar can help release the tension of anger. A slow brush sweep in movement with a particular instrument can dissipate tight feelings when contemplating a decision. A rapid set of dance moves can provoke belly laughter as well as a challenge between left foot and right!

Try these tips to help encourage relaxation through listening to music:

Choose instrumental music. Without words to convey a particular sentiment for the moment, children can enter the musical space and project their own interpretation of the music based on what they need at that time. They can find the humor, sorrow, frustration or confusion in the music – and in themselves. Instrumental music does not verbally suggest the emotion. However, use your discretion when choosing music – consider the pace and pulse of the music. Much like selecting books, a good fit between need and supply is the purpose of this activity. Children benefit from listening to instrumental music by getting the opportunity to determine the meaning of the music.

Listen to current, popular music. Children need their peers to help encourage them to live up to their potential. Children want to follow the supportive leaders in place – including leaders among their peers. Therefore, some of the music in the public environments can be an opportunity to join with others in musical expression. These benefits may not be so obvious to a child, especially an adolescent. Yet, radio and other popular music events in childhood often lead to shared sentiments in a community. Music of this kind can be used for creative expression.

Try a variety of genres. For relaxation purposes, explore music genres with a specific set of criteria to determine the pros and cons of particular pieces of music within genres. For example, children who are sad may be best served with easy listening music. Children can also get good physical activity while dancing along to an upbeat song. Certain musical compositions can work well at bedtime to soothe fears and lift dreams onto clouds. Again, review all choices and find the best-fit selections for your child.