Parents, teachers and students are gearing up for the 2020-2021 school year. But what it looks like this year, is unknown. Will there be in-person classes? Will children sit in chairs placed six-feet apart from their friends? Will they be required to wear a face mask? Will they stay at home and learn remotely?
The COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives. In just a few short weeks, states across the country mandated stay-at-home orders to stop the spread of the virus. Companies began sending their employees home to work and some closed their doors. Many employees were placed on furlough or laid off. Parks and beaches closed. Museums, zoos, science centers and shopping malls closed. All concerts and sporting events were canceled. And when schools closed, our daily routines changed. Parents instantly became their own day care providers. Teachers turned their lesson plans to digital and began connecting with their students using Zoom and other platforms.
While our focus is on keeping our children physically safe, it is also important to pay attention to their emotional health. With all the closures and cancellations, they may have lost the sense of structure and routine. They don’t have the opportunity to be with their friends and get the social support that is essential for good mental well-being.
Parents are challenged to find ways to fill that void, while maintaining their own mental well-being in a whole new way. Many parents are turning to music. Music everywhere – social media and television shows are filled with people singing and dancing during quarantine. It’s a powerful way to express yourself without feeling judged. Here are five easy ways to integrate music in your daily routines.
- Play musical chairs. This is a great way to listen to music and move a little, especially if your children find it hard to sit still.
- Learn to play a musical instrument. Visit your local music store and learn how to play guitar, read music and compose your own songs.
- Have a karaoke singalong. If you don’t have a karaoke machine or microphone, you can pretend by using a hairbrush, pop bottle – you name it.
- Host a mini concert with the family at home and live stream your performance. It’s a great way to get the whole family involved. And when you can see the faces of your loved ones – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins – you don’t feel so alone and isolated.
- Encourage your children to compose their own music. Gather your family together, tap your feet, clap your hands and dance to the beat.
During the pandemic, home can be a little crowded for families trying to accommodate both school and work. With a little bit of creativity and a lot of flexibility, parents can make this time of uncertainty fun and full of memories. Let music fill your home.