Just as making up songs can help kids remember, music without words can be really helpful for working memory support, too. If your child has a difficult time staying on task in the mornings before school, or in the evenings before bed, you might try choosing music that can help keep processes moving smoothly.
For example, the William Tell overture is an exciting piece of music that makes a child want to get moving. If your child has ever watched while they try to clean the bases at a Baseball game before a song is over, then she’ll understand this version of “race against the clock.” While the whole piece is about 12 minutes long, the exciting part is about 7 minutes, and it is really enough time for most kids to get out of pajamas and do a decent job of brushing their teeth in the morning. Whatever song motivates your child to get up and get moving, it’s worth a try. Have your child create a play list so that he’s Brushing to Beyonce, Dressing to Daughtry or Tying shoes to Taylor!
But using music doesn’t have to be a race. You could also choose music so a child knows “when they get to that part I should be brushing my teeth” or “when they start singing the chorus I should be putting on my shoes and socks.” It’s like a musical post-it note that, for some kids, is much more effective than a list.
And remember, it’s particularly important to get your child’s “buy-in” to a strategy like using music. You can suggest it, but ask if he thinks it’s a good thing to try before you just spring it on him. Some kids might want to get moving to something less intense, or choose the music, themselves, so you always want to get your child’s input before “imposing” a new strategy.
Finally, music makes for a great motivator when boring tasks need to get done, or kids have had a hard day. Turn on tunes and have a dance party while cleaning a room or sweeping the floors to add a layer of fun to an otherwise mundane task! Or turn up the dial when your child has had a hard day – it can soothe even the most savage of upsets.