With social/emotional learning at the forefront of my mind in our new era of social distancing, I was glad to see that Travis’s latest Raddish Kids crate included a lesson on how music effects our moods. (All of the recipes this month have musical themes: stay tuned!). Being able to connect words to emotions is key, now more than ever, and we liked the can-do focus on how music can change or improve your mood.
As he came to the table I asked him: “How are you feeling right now?” He answered that he was feeling tired, but also silly.
We watched a quick explanation of how music can affect the brain and mood, which had him giggling.
Next I played him four samples of music, choosing:
- Rock ‘n’ Roll
- Heavy Metal
For each one, he drew a simple face on the provided worksheet that showed how it made him feel. I knew he was goofing off a little, but he decided the classical made him happy, the rock ‘n’ roll made him angry, the heavy metal made him excited, and the folk made him sad. Whether or not this was all true, it was nice to give him vocabulary to think about emotions.
Now it was time to experiment! First we played the heavy metal, and I let him have at a piece of paper with a paintbrush and watercolors. Then we switched to the classical, to see if there was a difference. Again, it was a little harder for a kindergartner to take this activity seriously. First he just liked making big dark puddles on the paper.
But then I noticed during the classical he was choosing brighter colors and his brush strokes were slowing down. So perhaps the music had a subconscious effect after all!
Older kids can explore further, perhaps making a playlist intended to make a family member feel a certain way, or creating a soundtrack to amcertain part of their day. To test this out subtly, we played some energizing songs (i.e. Can’t Stop the Feeling) for clean-up time, and it had everyone in a great mood at a time when the kids normally feel a bit grumpy.