While social distancing would seem like a means by which we will all have more time to ourselves, anyone with family members at home knows this cannot be farther from the truth. Parents who are lucky enough to be able to work from home, and those who are unfortunately temporarily out of work are now exposed to live-at-home family members for longer periods of time. This poses a challenge for many, as they seek new ways to spend the time and entertain children. One great thing to do that does not require a bit of practice, technology, or materials is to sing. Singing together as a family is a great way to pass the time and has been shown to provide a great deal of benefits for each and every family member.
- Singing helps to soothe the soul – Just about any mother can tell you that singing to a restless baby can soothe and calm them. In fact, a new study shows that singing calms babies for longer periods of time than talking. In this new reality of social distancing, when anxieties can run high, singing reminds even older children and adults of happy times.
- Singing to children helps them to become better learners – Children’s music teachers have always known what studies have proven. Singing to and with children better prepares them for learning in school. The patterns and repetitiveness of songs helps prepare them to be ready to read. Singing with children at home also teaches them to share, take turns and speak up when they are eventually in a social learning environment.
- The old Family Sing- Along – Whether its Campfire Songs, Christmas Carols or Car Trip sing-alongs, families (and tribes) have always sang together through time. The benefits of this are numerous, including learning about your family history through traditional songs, learning how to harmonize with a group, or even how to get over performance anxiety. And who knows, someone might just realize they have a love for singing!
- Health benefits to group singing – While singing in any capacity has been shown to increase overall heart health and lung capacity, group singing has been scientifically proven to lower relative anxiety and stress while elevating endorphins. And the singing does not even have to be good to get these benefits. Siblings notwithstanding, who better than your family members to let you sing in your own voice without ridicule or criticism?
- From traditional to pop, there’s something for everyone – There’s a reason why many traditional songs stand the test of time. They are easy for everyone to remember and sing. Good examples are Christmas Carols or favorite children’s songs. Just about anyone in the family will remember the most popular traditional songs, and there are also plenty of modern songs that most everyone knows.
With sports practice, music lessons, PTA meetings and the like, many modern families’ lives seemed like ships that passed in the night. However, the need for social distancing has shut down many of the things that kept us running all the time. As families rediscover what it means to be around each other much of the day, they will look for ways to pass the time and reconnect. Singing together, whether it’s just while cleaning house or having a sing-along session in the family room, can become a way to help alleviate the tension and strain of this strange new world, while at the same time celebrating what it means to be family.