Music as the Wellspring of Youth

Tricia - Calabasas, California
Entered on February 7, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

Really, what’s a nursery without surround sound? What’s the point in having one little white noise machine or one tiny clock radio for a room in the house that celebrates the beginning of life? I believe music is the wellspring of youth.

I have always been a fan of music, but my level of appreciation changed when I met my boyfriend, now husband, and the father of our two children. He sparked my fascination with speaker placement and enveloping ambient sound.

It’s no surprise that I found him one Sunday in the nursery surrounded by speaker wire, stereo components, and speakers on the floor.

When I asked him what he was doing, he had that smirk of “oh, trust me dear.”

“I thought we were just hanging the butterflies,” I said.

“Oh no no no,” he said. “We’ll get to that. Don’t worry. This is more important.”

The whole idea seemed ridiculous and ostentatious, until I came back a few hours later to check on him. He stood me in the center of the nursery, waved his remotes, pushed some buttons and bam: we had Mozart. We didn’t have a crib, but we had a sound system! And it rocked!

On an average morning when my kids, Grey and Bliss, and I hang out in the nursery, we might listen to Thelonious Monk while stacking blocks. But sometimes we get a little funkier. Studies try to show how classical music increases baby’s intellectual pathways for advancement in mathematics and language. Sure, that’s all good and well, but what about the music you can bust a move to? Where’s the research on the effects of Daft Punk or the Foo Fighters on a kid’s brain?

In an attempt to conduct my own research, albeit lacking in scientific methods, I rate the experience on happiness. How much can they laugh? How much can they smile?

When the kids and I turn the nursery into Club Kids, with one swift motion I pull open the mini-blinds. The seventy-foot California sycamore outside Bliss’s window becomes our strobe light as its leaves pick up and drop off the sunlight in the room.

We’re waving our hands in the air like we just don’t care. I twirl the kids upside down, shirts around their neck, belly all exposed. Bliss is performing some kind of infant-toddler hip-hop thingy. Grey is rolling his shoulders and kicking his heels.

The longer we dance, the closer it gets to noon. We shut down our club, and retire to the kitchen for lunch.

In the afternoon after they wake up from their naps, we will venture out to run errands. Without fail, almost every day, someone standing in line will say to me, “You have the happiest children.”

I will smile back and be grateful for I know that music just might be making everyone in the house youthful and bright.