8 simple steps for using Music and Imagination with your children

By Adrienne Pringle, Music Therapist & Music Teacher, Co-Founder of Beyond the Studio

The world of imagination and play is a necessity for healthy growth and development.  Many children easily live in a space between imagination and reality.  For children at play fantasy and dreams feel real and exciting.  Sharing experiences of imagination, play, and healthy relaxation time can nurture parent child bonds, teach your child strategies for unwinding and help children (and parents) to access their inner creative self.  One way that adults and children alike can access this dream-like imagination space is through music.  Here is an 8 step guide for using music to access imagination – enjoy!Bench

Step 1 – Find a quiet space where you can lie down or rest in a comfortable position together

Step 2 – Select recorded music – from film or from the classical – even a 3 minute excerpt will work.  I like the music of film composers like John Williams and Ennio Morricone.  The Lord of the Rings instrumental selections provide access to grand, sweeping landscape imagery.  Music from the Romantic composers such as Sate, Smetana or Mussorgsky provide a completely different experience intended to convey stories and places in the mind of the listener.

Step 3 – Focus on your breath, listen or feel for your heart beat, close your eyes, be calm

Step 4 – Tell your child to picture a stage with curtains, when the music begins the curtains will draw back and the imagination show will start

Step 5 – Listen to the music together in silence

Step 6 – Open your eyes and stretch

Step 7 – Grab a piece of paper and markers and draw your imagination journey

Step 8 – Share what you experienced with one another