Being intentional with music can contribute to setting the atmosphere in the home. It can add joy, beauty and creativity to family life.
When I was in high school and college I absolutely loved music. I was mostly into Alternative Indie Folk Music. On many weekends, I would be at concerts. During the week I would constantly research the newest and best in that genre. In the years following college I didn’t listen to much music. After having 3 kids close together, I enjoyed silence more often than not when I was alone. On top of that, I was wanting music that was wholesome but also still exceptional. Hard to find, right? I was swamped with raising little ones and just plain didn’t have time to research. So music went on the back burner of my life.
Now that the kids are getting older and I’m feeling like I can breathe a little bit, I have been craving music again. I am wanting music in our home to lift up and inspire my family from the hum drum of life. To help cast our eyes on God and His goodness and joy. I want my children to listen to the music in our home and be inspired to create beauty themselves.
When we gather around the dinner table, I want to be able to listen to lyrics and discuss what they mean, just like we do when we read poetry. I want to be in awe of how someone plays the piano well and realize that I can do the same if I work hard. I want to listen to music where you can just tell that the people playing and singing are doing exactly what God created them to do. And then have that spur myself and kids on to do exactly what God created us to do.
“The Feeling I’ve Always Wanted”
Recently my husband and I watched The Greatest Game Ever Played. In it, Francis and his mother go to an Opera. As they are walking home, his mother says, “It was glorious. Wasn’t it glorious?” He responds, “It’s like the music was coming through her, or someplace else. That’s the feeling I’ve always wanted.” For those of us who believe, we know where that “someplace else” is and I believe we can all experience exactly that as we use our skills, talents and personality exactly as God intended them to be used.
When I first started my renewed music awakening, I went back to the bands that I previously listened to. While I still appreciate their music, there is a lot of stuff in their lyrics and music videos that are not conducive to a wholesome environment for me or my family. Back to the drawing board. Thankfully, I have been able to find music that does add to the overall atmosphere of our home. In my opinion, all of them are exceptional both musically and lyrically (if applicable) and their music really does come from “someplace else.” But before we get to some specific artists, here are some tips to get you started.
How to Set an Atmosphere in the Home With Music
- Figure out what mood you are wanting at different points throughout the day. Are the kids needing to be focused and serious? Are they needing to be quiet and creative? Pick some classical music or music that can be background music without distracting too much.
- Be intentional about the music you are putting on in your home. Listen to the lyrics, listen to the music. Does it inspire? Does it add joy and peace to your home?
- Put on some fun, upbeat music for chore time. This will motivate the kids to get moving and enjoy the work they are doing.
- When everyone is stressed, randomly go put some music on that you can dance to. Everyone can jump around, laugh and relieve some tension for a few minutes. Then sit down and get back to what you were doing before!
- Put instruments throughout the house. A piano in the living room, a box of tambourines and shakers in another. Encourage them to make their own music.
- Listen to worship morning first thing in the morning. It will get everyone in a place to focus on what matters and be God focused right at the beginning of the day.
- Don’t be afraid to schedule music at different times of the day. Put it in parentheses next to your schedule so you remember!
Wholesome Music Options for the Family
Sally Clarkson said in a book I read recently that music is a grace in the hard spots of life. I loved that. The other day I was having a hard time, feeling overwhelmed with the kids and remembered her saying that. We went over to the TV and turned on The Hunts (a band I will mention down at the bottom). We blasted the music and danced around the room for a while. Then, we proceeded to all do our chores with it playing and were all laughing and having a good time. Music really is a grace from God.
So here are some of our favorites at the moment. They are very different from one another but I think all are alike in the sense that they are doing exactly what they were created to do. When I listen to them, I am inspired myself to go do exactly what I am created to do. And I hope you are too.
The Classical Composers. We love putting classical music on during times of studying, drawing, penmanship or during times we are wanting to be creative and quieter. I discovered this series at a thrift store and love that each cd is focused on one classical artist. I also love that it comes with a mini biography in it. Regardless if you get this series or another one, I think classical music is a great way to inspire creativity in the home.
Indie Alternative Folk Band
The Hunts. Oh man, I love this band. Talk about talent. They are my music of choice at the moment. It’s hard not to be in a good mood when you listen to them. I am absolutely blown away by their instrumental skills (I’m a sucker for a violin in a song), their vocals and their lyrics. It’s hard to find a band that excels in all three of those but they do it. Best of all, their lyrics are clean and you can put their music videos up on your tv and they are clean as well. My children are enjoying dancing to them. And I am enjoying listening to them as I write. They help get my creative juices flowing.
Christian Worship Music
Keith and Kristyn Getty. I grew up in a church that sang hymns. I am very thankful for this as I love poetry; and hymns just remind me of poetry that is put to music. I am so thankful I was introduced to this band a couple of years back. It is a husband and wife team that write modern day hymns and beautiful worship songs. Their songs have such awe inspiring lyrics that cause you to lift up your eyes to the goodness of God.
Jon Thurlow. Our family loves Jon Thurlow. I think we have just about every one one of his albums. When you are wanting to lift your hands up in praise to God, he’s the one to listen to. My 5 year old was so inspired after watching one of Jon’s performances on YouTube that he immediately went over to the piano and started creating his own song and music for God. Precious.