Coping skills are so important at any age, and our emotions play a huge role in this. Identifying what we are feeling, how to express those feelings, and what to do about them is necessary throughout life, but can be quite difficult. Even fully developed adults can struggle with this.
While adults take on the stresses of everyday life during COVID-19, we sometimes may forget that children are impacted, too. These kids have had a huge shift in their everyday lives: attending school remotely, not being able to see their friends, wearing a mask, and keeping distance from everyone they see. Children have a lot of feelings, and learning how to process and express these feelings comes with their developmental milestones that they maybe haven’t achieved yet.
So, especially in today’s world, how can we use music to help children process and express their emotions, furthering their ability to develop healthy coping skills? Let’s take a look at a few songs that may help.
Life has felt pretty heavy lately. We’re nearing the six-month mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means it’s been almost six months since my kids were in school, I was able to do my job as it is meant to be done, we’ve been able to travel…the list goes on and on.
And now that the upcoming school year is upon us, we’re facing hard decisions that will determine what our lives will look like in the second half of this insane year. There is bad news every day, the state of our current government is terrifying, and everything is uncertain.
I’ve also been listening to Taylor Swift’s new album folklore on repeat, which — as INCREDIBLE as it is — doesn’t do much in the way of lifting my spirits. It’s a work of art, but it is a moody and contemplative work of art that has definitely elicited some tears.
All of that to say: I was in dire need of some serious self-care this weekend. That meant *finally* getting some alone time (since during the week while my husband is at work, I’m with my children for 10+ hours/day), and using the first few minutes of said alone time to create a fresh playlist.
Words and melodies have, for the most part, eluded me over the past 6 weeks. The best I could muster was an adaptation of Maggie Rogers’ “Give A Little” for bells, which I used in my livestream classes recently, but otherwise…nothing.
And then last Friday, our governor announced that all schools in Illinois are closed for the remainder of the school year. Even though I was 100% expecting this news, it hit me hard. I still haven’t told my kids, who are only 4 and 6…young enough to be content at home, but old enough to love and miss their school, teachers, and friends. Needless to say, the rollercoaster my emotions have been on plunged downward.
That night, I sat down with my guitar, and all these lyrics came pouring out, along with a melody to go with them. “It’s Okay Not To Be Okay” was the result, and I want to share it with you if you need a reminder of this message as much as I do.
Bonding songs are essential to my early childhood classes, because they foster parent-child interaction and help us wind down toward the end of the session. I wrote “I Love Your Toes” specifically for my baby (0-18 month) class, though I have most definitely used it with kiddos who are a little older.
I wrote the song “Love, Love, Love (My Family)” before I became a mom, believe it or not. This photo was taken just a few days after my daughter Mia Belle was born and completed our family; now this song is more special to me than ever.
Welcome! I’m Rachel Rambach, board-certified music therapist and creator of Listen & Learn Music — educational songs and musical materials for children. I love sharing my work with you, along with my behind-the-scenes creative process, adventures in business ownership, and life as a mom of two.
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