Making Memories with Music by Beverly Smith

Have you ever heard a song that brings on joyous memories or emotions so strong it could bring you to tears? It happens to me all the time. I was thinking about this the other day as I was playing with my daughter, Isabelle. We were in one of those bored moods where nothing seemed entertaining, so I turned on some music. Since the holidays were approaching, I decided it was finally time to turn on Christmas music. Immediately, the song “Winter Wonderland” started streaming. This song always brings a smile to my face and I feel the warmth of the holidays. My husband and I sing it around the holidays, using our “funny voices.” It truly fills me with the spirit of Christmas.

It’s uncanny when you stop to think about how much music shapes our memories. I have some songs I’d prefer to skip because they always make me sad, especially old country songs from my childhood or the hymns we used at my grandmother’s funeral. These songs hold an important place in my heart, however, even if they bring back sadness.

The emotion music brings is one reason why I make sure to expose Isabelle to music as much as I can. I want her to know music as a way to calm herself, bring on laughter, give her energy, and help her learn about life. In fact, that’s a big part of the reason we choose to make Kindermusik a priority in our family. I can’t tell you how many wonderful memories we have from our classes, and how memories of those in class musical experiences are triggered throughout our days of play at home.

When I sing “Jingle Bells,” I think of the times we made laundry basket sleighs in class with Ms. Henderson. When Isabelle is taking a bath, we giggle the entire time while singing the “Wishy Washy Wee” song we learned in Ms. Angela’s class. These are the memories I’ll cherish when she’s older. I’ll miss these days when I can’t bounce her on my knee or when she doesn’t want to sing along in the bath. But even if we don’t do everything the same as she grows up, I know I’ll hear these songs and the memories will warm my heart, and hers too!
I hope your holidays are filled with timeless music and all the wonderful memories that come with your favorite songs. As Bing Crosby says in “White Christmas,” “May your days be merry and bright.”