The yoga of everyday life includes music. Growing up as a musician and still enjoying my musical gifts, I can’t help but think about what my kids and family listened to each day.
When we really get down to the truth of it, mindful parenting is actually aided by the presence of certain music and music of a certain quality. Karma yoga, the yoga of daily action, would suggest that we select music in a thoughtful way.
For example, when I want to create a calming background for my kids while they are drawing, yoga music for calming such as chanting, ocean or nature sounds, or music consisting of certain musical tones is what I would select. When I want a more upbeat background for activities such as cooking, I play some cultural music such as salsa or swing music from the 30’s.
One of my most-loved musical experiences comes from a beloved collection of music under the Guess How Much I Love You CD/book title. The 3-CD set came along with the book. The CD includes author Sam McBratney’s audio reading of the book, as well as a selection of lullabies, soothing classical music and nature sounds.They are designed for baby or child to play and rest while listening, but they really affected me the most!
When I first got these CD’s my little baby would sleep or play and I would just cry and cry tears of joy that only these sweet little songs could bring up. I couldn’t help myself! They tugged on my heart-strings so wonderfully, and made me aware of the immense love I had for my baby. I wouldn’t miss out on all this wonderful awe thanks to the music, even if I did feel a little silly for all the tissues I went through. The music helped to bring me to a mindfulness that I might have missed in all my daily busy-ness. It was a gift when I still didn’t know how important it was to be mindful. It allowed me to stop and realize joy. This music would not let me miss out on the love in those moments with my baby.
If you want to listen to this book with some of the music in the background to help your little one unwind or get ready for restful sleep, click Guess How Much I Love You Kids Story with Music
Check out these musical resources when mindfully selecting music and kids songs for your family.
Music Together is an organization that provides organic music experiences for families and children through classes and online. It gets the family involved in music enjoyment, and just like a language, when the family speaks the same language, in this case music, the child is sure to learn. Even if you don’t know a thing about music, this organization will allow you to be an example for your child.
Putumayo Kids is the best resource I have found for the classroom and home world music. They pick songs that are easily accessible to both the newly-trained and the seasoned ear. The tunes are fun and very well produced. Putumayo kids has been my favorite and go to source for world music for the past 10 years.
Kindermusik is a valuable educational music resource.
Calming Music and Songs for Kids:
The Earth Spirit music by R. Carlos Nakai is so focusing it could be used to calm for yoga sessions, used as a meditation, or background music to create a calm home or classroom environment. I listen to this CD even when my kids aren’t around. It is fantastic!
Multi-Cultural Music and Songs for Kids:
The Gipsy Kings are a easy transition to Latin Music. Kids and parents can enjoy their music quickly even if Latin music is unfamiliar. The GK’s are from Europe and draw from many traditions, including flamenco, salsa, Cuban music and even rock and roll, with an energetic and driving sound. We listen to The Best of the Gypsy Kings in the car all the time and cook tacos with it on in the background.
A great CD for African music is African Playground. We absolutely love this CD and have some favorites the kids can’t help but dance to. For a more African to American transition in music, we listen to Jazz and Blues Cd’s we pick up from the Library.
Teach Me German is a fun book and music combination that has kids’ songs in German and short reading lessons in an easy format. Kids can color each lesson page, and a few pages can be done at a time. Teach Me More German is the next book in this series. We used these books around the Christmas holidays as their are special holiday sections, but it takes kids on an adventure through the year, so it could work in any season.
In the same vein is Teach Me Everyday Spanish, a book we’ve used year after year. The songs are fun and they have a mix of English and Spanish so even the kids who are listening for fun won’t get lost! It’s really easy and we have also used Teach Me More Spanish as supplement to the other Spanish-language resources we use at home to encourage our kids to learn multiple languages. Fun coloring, story-telling and kids’ songs!
Exploring the Senses with Music and Songs for Kids:
Explore music through the senses, SEEING the universe as never before, with great songs from The Mighty Sky musical experience. These songs for kids have been awarded the “Smart Media” and “Notable” medals by the American Library Association and Academics Association. This collection rocks and creates a beautiful picture of the universe through music.
A great CD related to all things food and also for all the Barenaked Ladies fans out there! Snacktime is BNL’s take on a kids’ CD that does not disappoint. Whether you have a picky eater or kids who love to eat, this CD makes food a feast of musical fun. We play this in the car just for giggles! Then we sing it in the kitchen because we know all the lyrics.
Auditory Meditations for Kids:
These are tracks I love to use in my work with kids and with my own family. My favorite is Mermaids and Fairy Dust.
Yoga Songs for Kids:
One of the best yoga recordings I have found is by Kira Willey. Her music in Dance for the Sun takes kids on yoga adventures they can listen to AND do! It is really a ton of fun for the whole family.
Folk Songs for Kids and Families:
John McCutcheon’s music in Howjadoo is down-home fun with a level of musicianship that kids can understand and grow into, while still having fun!
Try the Johnny Cash Children’s Album for a grounding experience for the whole family. Johnny’s voice in it’s booming bass style wakes us up to the grind of daily life but in a fun way which kids can grasp. Great songs.
Family Music and Songs for Kids:
Ziggy Marley does a great job with his album, Family Time. It’s upbeat and a great listen to put the whole family in a happy mood!
Coconut Moon is a master music compilation for silly family fun. The Green Chili Jam Band rocks these kids’ songs, so parents can just sit back and laugh. Here is an example of just one silly song called Lard. It’s sure to bring laughter.
Holiday Music for Kids:
An amazing CD that creates the a feeling of warmth and love around the Christmas Holiday is Christmas Folkjul. I cried when I listened to this music in my car, driving home once late holiday evening alone from work. This has become a consistent request for the whole family. Don’t let one more holiday go by without this true musical gem.