Music is not one-size-fits-all and every child is going to react differently. In this list, you'll find music that could work for sleep/rest, music for play time, music for learning, etc. We could get really complicated here, but we're not going to! Plain and simple: these are my all-time favorite songs for babies.
Before my daughter was born, I was a music therapist in a children's hospital. My job was to go room to room to help kids who were in pain and/or scared, among other things. They often needed to sleep more than anything, so many days, I went from room to room singing babies and kids to sleep.
I'd like to think that the first 6 months of my daughter's life were only blissful and carefree... nope. It was HARD. She was a preemie with sensory issues that she (mostly) outgrew, but the sight of a ceiling fan could send her into an I-WILL-SCREAM-AND-NOTHING-WILL-CALM-ME meltdown that would eventually send me into my own special kind of meltdown.
This is where the "ISO Principle" comes in. "ISO" means "equal, similar, identical" in Greek. The ISO Principle is a music therapy technique where you match the music you're using to the mood and arousal level of whoever you're trying to help.
We had some visitors stay at our house and they brought their sweet 18-month old. He was sick, missed a nap and was overstimulated after a long day in the sun. Predictably, he had a rough time calming down for a nap. Before long, it escalated to him being completely inconsolable. The method I used is something I've used time and time again... and within minutes, he was fast asleep.
Sometimes when the house is a disaster, tempers are short and the energy is endless... it's time to dance. I believe dancing with your child can build memories, release tension and can even contribute to increasing their confidence.
I keep finding myself sifting through music for songs to help my 4-year-old feel more relaxed. There's something about this time of year (new school year, new routine) that tends to trigger stress. We've been using a lot of music. I know music is my "thing", but as a parent, I'm so incredibly grateful for it. It can halt escalating emotions and take them in a completely different direction.
The short answer? Sure... if they like it. The long answer?In music therapy research, there are two big themes that come up over and over again...