When the weather is fineRecent stories on NPR and in the Huffington Post mentioning a mother keeping her children calm (and quiet) for 5 hours during the Kenya Mall attack are amazing. Let’s be honest, being quiet (let alone calm) while others around you are being shot is impressive. Keeping children in this state is a gift.

Music contributed to the calm as Hicks is quoted:

“The music that plays in the shopping mall — just kind of this tranquil music — was still playing throughout this whole thing, so amidst the gunfire and all the action that was happening, you had this kind of mall music that played throughout the entire attack,” 

The music of malls and retail stores ranges according to who picks it and whether it is purposefully selected to align with a brand or to set a mood. To the person who selected the music that day, my hats is off to you.

Fact: There is no universal music that calms.

Our music preferences and our responses to music are unique to the person. We have music of our culture, our age, our homes. and our social groups. Layer on top the individual with their preferences and responses. The intersection of the circles for varies. Will there be some similarities? Yes, but they won’t be an exact match for everyone in your home, your school, your community.

Fact: Lists can be helpful.

Creating a list of your music preferences and experiences can be helpful to others should you become unable to voice them. Consider including:

  1. Your musical training/experiences
  2. What you enjoy listening to (genres, performers, instruments, etc.)
  3. What music helps you to relax along with how you use it to relax (listen, sing, move,…)
  4. List music that encourages you to move/exercise and to concentrate.
  5. Music that drives you nuts!
  6. Music that has special meaning for you.

Fact: Sometimes you need a music therapist to assist in finding the music that is appropriate for you.

Maybe the music that used to assist you in relaxing isn’t working. Maybe you need some ideas for what will most help you and those for whom you provide care Maybe you need some new approaches to assist you in relaxing with music. Maybe your playlist needs to be structured to ease you/your care recipient towards relaxation.

If you live in the Hays area and desire assistance, please contact me. If you live outside the area, visit the Certification Board for Music Therapists to locate a qualified professional in your area.

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