Did you see my post on the Stone Roses gig I went to? Did you know I love Supergrass? The Pixies? Tom Waits, Bob Dylan and The Vaccines? Pre-baby days I was a very regular Rock/indie band goer, festival fanatic, and had even been known to get up on the mic and have a bit of a strum and a song-song at the local pub’s acoustic nights. I am also kind of hoping Gibby will grow up to be a rock drummer. Yeah! (Just wanted to get all that in before I launch into the real topic of this post, which some of you may find erring towards the geeky side.)
I also like some classical music. I don’t know a lot about it. I don’t hear a piece on the telly or radio and start conducting whist spouting my knowledge to anyone in earshot “AAaah yes – Mass in C Minor by Tchaikov-hoven-handle-bach. Superb string arrangement . . . fnar fnar!”
But there are a few pieces I play quite often – both myself on piano, but also just to listen to depending what mood I’m in. I used to play it a lot for Giblet when she was a baby, but for some reason, Bach has made way for The Wheels on the Bus and Tchaikovsky for the Tweenies. How’d I let that happen?
Anyhoo, I digress. Something happened in the car the other day and it got me thinking. I was playing a CD with one of my favourites on (Elizabethan Serenade by Ronald Binge . . . I know . . . “get me”) when Gibby, who had been quietly thumb-sucking and looking out the window, pipes up with “Mummy! This song like a butterfly!”
“Is it Grace?”
“YEAH! Come on!”
And as the light and floaty strings swirl out of the speakers she happily flaps her arms up and down butterfly stylee. “COME ON MUMMY! YOU A BUTTERFLY TOO!”
So with one arm on the steering wheel and the other flapping away as I join in, we both do our best butterfly impression as we bomb along the roads of Bolton.
“MUMMY I’M HAPPY!” She shouts as she flaps along.
I have since asked all who care for Grace whether they have used this music with her in connection with a butterfly activity. They haven’t. So that means that this particular piece sparked her imagination enough to think of butterflies. How lovely.
Now every time we get in the car she asks for the butterfly song. Perhaps more interestingly though, at roughly the same point she always says the same thing “Mummy, I’m happy!”
It became obvious fairly quickly that this song has a really strong effect on her.
Brace yourselves – I’ve been Googling!
It would seem that for a long time now, research has suggested that classical music can have numerous positive effects on children’s development and health (commonly referred to as the Mozart effect). These can include improvement in:
- Emotion and mood.
- Articulation of emotion.
- Spacial awareness.
- Stimulation of brain and body.
There’s a ton of information on-line about this if you wanted to dig deeper. There are even albums dedicated to it (just pop ” Mozart effect” into an Amazon search and you’ll see.)
I know that since Grace’s surprising but delightful reaction to Elizabeth Serenade, I’ve been putting a little classical on in the background whenever we do art and craft, or sometimes at bath time, and sometimes just to “butterfly” around the living room to.
If you’re curious but have no clue where to start, here are links to 3 of mine and Gibby’s favourites on YouTube which of course is free, as is Classic FM. (We only use You Tube for the music, some of the visuals are a bit random.) I’d love to know what you think – and especially to hear from you if you try it!
- Elizabethan Serenade by Ronald Binge – great to draw/play or flap to!
- Canon in D by Pachelbel – Lovely and dreamy for bath time or bedtime. If you only listen to one, please sit back and give this one a try. It’s so beautiful and gets better the more it builds.
- William Tell Overture by Rossini – Put it on loud, run around, bash any percussion you may have handy.
RIGHT! I’m off to ROCK OUT to some Foo Fighters now. I AM COOL, DAMN IT!