The Expression of Emotion in Music

Music can be a great tool for young children to express themselves and their emotions. Children often find it difficult to articulate their feelings because they may not have the vocabulary to describe how they feel. Instead, they may resort to crying, throwing tantrums or having meltdowns. Teaching children about basic emotions such as happiness, anger, sadness, and fear from as early as two years old can help them understand and express their emotions better. As children grow older, they can learn to identify and express more complex emotions like frustration, nervousness, and shyness.

Music and play are powerful tools for children to learn about feelings, explore them, and practice how to express and manage them. However, music is not only beneficial for children but also for people of all ages. It is a highly effective way to express ourselves and cope with challenging circumstances in life. When we engage in music, we bypass social conditioning and conscious thought, and we directly connect with our emotions. When we participate in creative activities like music-making, we become mindful and present in the moment. This presence enables us to recognize our emotions and express them. Sometimes, it is difficult to articulate emotions verbally, and we struggle to find the right words to express ourselves. In such cases, music can provide a more subtle and effective form of expression.

Music can help children to ‘hear’ what certain feelings sound like

Congas (600x600 Young Boys) (600x600 Congas

A 'Music and Feelings' lesson plan can be a fun and effective way to help children recognize and discuss various emotions through music. This can aid in the development of emotional intelligence, as children can learn to identify different emotions by listening to music. Improvising with music can also help children to express and connect with their own emotions, whether they are feeling happy, sad, scared, or angry. Musical instruments can act as 'gates' for their emotions, enabling them to express themselves in a safe and appropriate manner. Early music education can be especially helpful in promoting healthy self-expression and building a strong sense of self.

Many people may not realize this, but music can be a great way to address feelings of stress, anxiety, or tension. Childhood stress has been on the rise in recent decades, with almost 40 percent of kids reporting that they worry too much. We tend to assume that children are happy and carefree, but the reality is that even very young children have worries and experience stress to some degree. Academic and social pressures, particularly from trying to fit in, can create stress for children. In summary, stress can affect anyone who feels overwhelmed, even young children. Music can influence the mood of children and can be used to reduce stress and improve the sense of well-being in the following ways:

  • Distraction: Music demands attention, making it a distraction while also allowing for exploration of emotions. It can help people stay focused and prevent their minds from wandering to negative thoughts or worries.

  • Mindfulness: Music allows people to lose themselves in the moment, enjoying the sounds they're making or hearing. Playing an instrument can bring them into the present, providing a respite from anxiety or stress.

  • Creative Self-Expression: While listening to music can reduce stress, creating music offers additional benefits. Active participation in playing or appreciating music can increase self-esteem by fostering expression and involvement.

Music is an excellent medium for children to express themselves, unleash their creativity, feel inspired and elevated, relax, and reduce stress and tension.

Moreover, playing music with others can improve children's social and emotional skills. It helps them learn to work together as a team and develop empathy towards others. Research indicates that children who play music together, even simple rhythms or larger group performances, are better able to understand and tune into other people's emotions.

There is little doubt that music can alter our mood and stir emotions

Cadenza (600x600 group of young schoolkids) (600x600 Cadenza

Emotions and music are two of the most fascinating aspects of the human mind. Understanding how these two interact can help us comprehend the fundamental nature of both. There is no doubt that music can affect our mood and emotions. It has immense power and you don't need to be a scientist to confirm this fact. Music can evoke a wide range of emotions, including:

  • Patriotic or Loyal: National anthems and other music associated with a country or geographic area. Music and sounds are associated with sports events, schools, clubs, and other organizations.
  • Spiritual: Hymns, chants, gospel, and other music associated with religion or faith.
  • Nostalgic: Music can remind us of the past, both good times and bad times.
  • Love: Music is often used to express love and affection.
  • Violent/Hatred: Music can be used in war or violence and to promote anger.
  • Energetic: Rhythms in music can make us move faster and aid physical exercise.
  • Happy or Sad: Music can lift our mood and make us smile or laugh. Alternatively, music can make us feel melancholy and even make us cry.
  • Irritated: Music that we don't like can irritate us, as can a tune that gets stuck in our head and is repeated over and over.
  • Scared: Music can make us feel scared or tense, for example, during some 'dark' moment in a movie.
  • Calm: Certain music can help the mind slow down and initiate the relaxation response.

Perhaps the most significant advantage of music is its ability to enable people to experience emotions without being burdened by the events that trigger them. We can feel even the most intense emotions in a controlled manner, at our will and in comfortable circumstances.

Moreover, playing music brings happiness to people! There are few joys in this world that can be compared to the feeling you get from letting your soul flow through your body and expressing yourself through improvisation and music-making. Discover the power of playing your own song to relieve stress.

Most of all, though, playing music makes people happy!

Harmony (600x600 Young Girl & Mother) (600x600 Harmony

Blog - InterActivity 2024 Square
Join Us at InterActivity 2024: Where Music Meets Museums
We're buzzing with excitement as we gear up for this year's InterActivity 2024 in Madison, Wisconsin. As the premier event organized by the Association...

Blog - Kings Award Robin and Jody Outside Dunsbury Park
Percussion Play Strikes a High Note with Second Royal Enterprise Award for International Trade
Percussion Play has achieved two major milestones this month: winning the prestigious King’s Awards for Enterprise for International Trade 2024 and relocating...

Blog - 2024 SLEC
Discover the Transformative Power of Music at the 2024 Senior Living Executive Conference
This year, the 2024 Senior Living Executive Conference will be held in Phoenix, Arizona. Spanning three days, the event will bring together the industry's...