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FaithManor----music therapy question


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First off, thanks so much for the other thread. Now, I'm wondering: If music can calm a distressed child, is the opposite true? (I would assume it is.) Is there a certain style of music that I could play in the mornings when I'm waking the kids up that would help them to get up and going? My kids, no matter how much sleep they have or have not gotten, are the type to be slow and grumpy in the morning. In their ideal world, they would wake up, lie around in bed for an hour, move to the couch, watch TV for another hour, eat breakfast (brunch by then), and then finally get started on the day. I have one in particular who has a hard time transitioning from sleep to wake (and also wake to sleep). Any ideas on this? I'm not looking for a miracle solution, although it would be great if you have one!

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Well, I've never been asked to help children get going. Usually, parents come to me looking for calming solutions. But, you could try first off, music with lyrics. Words stimulate the brain. I'd also look for non-ballads, ie. a little bit quicker tempo, a little more lively, but yet gentle. I wouldn't want to be blaring Manhatten Transfer Jazz at them because it's too rude of an awakening. The getting up needs to be stimulating but not overwhelming.

 

I'd try something such as fun folk tunes, children's hymns, and silly songs and especially something they enjoy singing themselves. But, play it low at first and gradually increase the volume. Try piping it to their rooms 20 minutes before you'd ideally like them out of bed, very soft, and increase the volume every few minutes until it's at a Mezzo Forte (medium, not loud) for the last ten minutes. Let them know that they have 10 minutes after the music is "up" to get pleasantly out of bed to start the day and give them some sort of reward for doing so. Extra brown sugar on their oatmeal, or chocolate chips on the pancakes or waffles, or getting to start their favorite subject first. My 14 year old will ALWAYS get out of bed on time if I make chocolate chip pancakes or let him have hot chocolate (I make mine with a dabble of honey instead of sugar) with whipped cream...this works especially well when it's cold and dark outside...Michigan winters are depressing.

 

By the time school work begins, be sure to have the lyrics OFF. They'll spend too much time with their brains focused on the words and unable to concentrate on the words in their books. It's not their fault. It is the nature of the brain. The brain adores patterns. Loves patterns; lives for patterns. Music with lyrics tend to be HIGHLY patterned - poetic metres and such. The brain will be totally taken in by the words and the rhythm in which they are sung. But, you can turn on some of the calming, classical, non-vocal music in the background. The musical patterns help the brain organize its thoughts but do not give it any word images to get hung up on.

 

I have no idea if this will work. I've literally never been asked to help children in this manner. This could be a very useful experiment! :D

 

Sorry I couldn't be of more assistance.

 

Faith

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:bigear:

 

Sounds just like my kids (and me).

 

ETA: oops we posted at the same time.

Faith, maybe you could come visit me this winter (Florida winters are rather nice) and organize my dh's 10,000 song music library into usable playlists for every occasion. ;)

Edited by bonniebeth4
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How about music that aids in concentration? My DS is very bright but his mind wanders. It takes him forever to finish his work.

 

 

Try Vivaldi and Bach or collections of Baroque (Corelli, Scarlotti) music. Baroque music was about as highly patterned, mathematical as music gets until one hits contemporary classical which tends towards 12 tone rows and atonality. Unfortunately, 12 tone row music, polytonality, and atonality require deep concentration from the brain directly onto the music in order to process which is counterproductive to concentrating on one's school work. I also lean away from organ music when looking at Baroque collections because pipe organs can be very "commanding" emotionally. Gorgeous for certain, but a little too demanding of our full attention. Harpsichord/clavichord music along with light strings and harp are great. Really heavy brass pieces, not so much.

 

Albioni's Andante is a Neo-Baroque work that is very nice and some of JoHann Nepomuk Hummel's pieces are just Baroque enough to provide the brain with patterning it craves. Avoid romantic and post-romantic work as well as contemporary classical if concentration aid is your aim.

 

Faith

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I have no idea if this will work. I've literally never been asked to help children in this manner. This could be a very useful experiment! :D

 

Sorry I couldn't be of more assistance.

 

Faith

 

Wow, I asked you a new question! Thank you for the advice. I will give it a try and report back to you if you like. :)

 

Try Vivaldi and Bach or collections of Baroque (Corelli, Scarlotti) music. Baroque music was about as highly patterned, mathematical as music gets until one hits contemporary classical which tends towards 12 tone rows and atonality. Unfortunately, 12 tone row music, polytonality, and atonality require deep concentration from the brain directly onto the music in order to process which is counterproductive to concentrating on one's school work. I also lean away from organ music when looking at Baroque collections because pipe organs can be very "commanding" emotionally. Gorgeous for certain, but a little too demanding of our full attention. Harpsichord/clavichord music along with light strings and harp are great. Really heavy brass pieces, not so much.

 

Albioni's Andante is a Neo-Baroque work that is very nice and some of JoHann Nepomuk Hummel's pieces are just Baroque enough to provide the brain with patterning it craves. Avoid romantic and post-romantic work as well as contemporary classical if concentration aid is your aim.

 

Faith

 

 

This is interesting too. My dd has a hard time concentrating during schoolwork due to her younger siblings constant noise. I wonder if playing music softly would help to block out some of the noise and help her concentrate, or if the music would just be more noise to her. I guess I could try it.

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I'm hope I'm not driving you crazy....but what about pain management? My son gets terrible migraines on a regular basis. Do you know of any music that might be help?

 

 

Well, it's a good thing I'm hiding out with the computer from the wild and LOUD boys in the family room!

 

To help him reduce pain or manage pain, you need more than just music. Any of the music on the calming play list will work and for strictly pain management, any lyrics based songs that your son finds soothing and touching will work as well. Since most migraine sufferers, though not all, are photosensitive - bothered by light during an episode - try having your son lie down or recline propped on pillows in a dimly lit or even dark room ( if he doesn't like the dark, try a scented candle - something that uses all natural scents and preferably a spice or fruit scent and not floral - to produce a little ambient light or a tiny candle in the bathroom while having a bubble bath), using the pressure points on his hands (palm of the hand dead center and the spot directly above, plus below the thumb), gently put pressure on these points while he does deep, belly breathing. The goal is to lower respirations and heart rate. You can also massage or teach him to massage the pressure points on his skull - middle of the eyebrows, behind the ears, base of the neck...soft, direct pressure - hold for several seconds, repeat, move away to a new point, same thing, new point, same thing, back to the original point...and after using the pressure points, try a soft scalp massage - gentle circular motion. You can buy some good books on massage from Barnes and Nobles and I highly recommend you look at them in person vs. buying sight unseen online. Some of them will look like a therapeutic massage book but will actually venture into some erotic massage with the necessary photos or drawings to get their point across thus being a book you wouldn't want to leave lying around for the kiddoes to take a gander at! :D Fun for dh and wifey though! (Oops, I did not just say that in a therapeutic music thread. For shame on me! :001_huh:)

 

Try meditative music, maybe with pan flute, nothing heavy, and possibly with the sounds of rain, waterfalls, or ocean waves superimposed over the instrumentals. Try instrumental first and then vocal music. Some people respond best to instrumental for pain management because it allows them to really focus on deep breathing techniques which do sooooo much to ease pain. But, others like the distraction of focusing on sing-along songs....things that take their focus away from what they are going through. You have to experiment to find what works best.

 

Also, lavender oil, bergamont, orange, and geranium oils (therapeutic or pharmaceutical grade) mixed together sparingly on a washcloth and laid over his forehead while he is reclining and listening may help. These scents have a naturally relaxing quality to the body. I try to avoid cheap perfume scents because they usually contain preservatives and some people react negatively to the chemicals which doesn't help anything. You can also use the blend or just the lavender mixed with coconut or almond oil (though any carrier oil will do) to massage into his temples, the palms of his hands, and the bottom of the feet. These are all very relaxing and the scent lasts a while when applied to pulse points. One caveat...if he is at all reactive to floral scents, lavender may bother him. At that point, change to pharmaceutical grade fruits and spices. Cinnamon is a very relaxing odor.

 

I have a friend with an autistic child who also suffers from many headaches and occasional migraines. She makes "feel good" hankies. She uses the above blend on handkerchief that her child carries in her pocket. The little gal pulls them up to her nose and deep breathes three times whenever she feels "achy" or has anxiety. SHE LOVES HER HANKIES! I really think they help her and I've been told that the Bergamont is a key oil in this blend.

 

Beyond that, you can also consider a mild magnesium supplement. About 40% of migraine sufferers benefit from magnesium but you'd need to ask a pediatrician or pediatric nurse practioner/physician's assistant because I don't know what the proper doseage is for children.

 

Faith

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… Is there a certain style of music that I could play in the mornings when I'm waking the kids up that would help them to get up and going? …

 

I'm no muscian, but I like marches (Sousa, for example) to get me energized, up, and going. Maybe that will work for you.

 

Also, thanks to FaithManor for all the help you are giving us about music.

 

Best wishes.

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