The next time you are faced with rainy weather (or sleet, snow or just crazy wind like we’ve been having in Brooklyn), don’t despair. Rather, turn to musical scores to brighten your day and boost your kids’ indoor playtime.

Make a list of your kids favorite movies (you can make that list together!) and download the scores (not the soundtracks) to those films.  If you are feeling really inspired (or are a musical theater geek like me), add in some overtures from musicals you love, and even tracks from ballets. You’ll soon have a customized playlist of wordless music that will inspire imaginations, gross motor play and emotional intelligence!

Check out the video below, where I’m specifically talking about music with no words in it.  While this seems unusual, this kind of music can really heighten calm in your house and kick your kids’ playtime up a notch.

I use scores constantly in classes with Child’s Play NY and my Overtures Playlist got me through many a rainy day as a mom too. Here are the reasons why I love playing around with scores, overtures and ballets in the classroom and at home.

Why The Playlist Will Change Your Playtime

  1. Imaginations Soar: Scores allow kids to make up their own story without having lyrics/meaning prescribed for them.
  2. No Chance of Boredom: There is inherent variety in the sounds they hear and the play that it inspires.  Unlike just listening to a kids album, there is some calm, robust, great for dancing, great for underscoring their own playing.
  3. Playful Guideposts: If they are familiar with the plot that the music comes from, they can use the track as a guide to act out a specific part of the narrative.
  4. Free to Choose: Playing around with soundtracks is of course customizable.  Like any other playlist, kids can come up with the mix of scores that they love choosing the movie/ballet moments they want to hear.
  5. Oh the Drama: This music tends to be wonderfully theatrical lending itself to high-stakes games and physically robust play.  Bye-bye screen time – this is more fun.
  6. Great for Adults too: By listening to the scores, you’ll rarely tire of the same old Disney playlist, whereas if you hear “Let It Go” again – you might lose your mind. My husband and I had the best time while watching Nathaniel as a baby play in his “jumperoo” as he bounced to the show tunes overtures playlist we made him.

Great for the Brain and the Body

  1. Gets Kids Moving:  Scores are great as backdrop to games like obstacle course and animal yoga or red light green light and freeze dance.
  2. Inspires focus and stamina: Turn on the scores if your kids are working on academic or fine motor skills,such as practicing writing, doing a mindfulness coloring book or drawing. The music can help bring about new levels of concentration and artistry.
  3. Fuels Emotional Intelligence: Sometimes kids are feeling big emotions and don’t have the words to synch up with their feelings.  In these instances, moving to music that matches their mood can be just the tonic that they need to identify, express and transform their emotions. Just as the track will change, so too will their feelings.

“Where words fail, music speaks” – Hans Christian Anderson


Kinds of Music to Use (not just scores)…

  1. Overtures of Musical Theater Shows
  2. Ballet’s: Nutcracker is popular around the holidays but don’t stop there.  Swan Lake, Coppelia, Firebird and others have soaring music and beautifully dramatic plots. To help with the storytelling, turn to books like: Firebird by Misty Copland, Swan Lake by Mark Helprin, and The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann.
  3. Movie Scores: My favorite playlist inlcudes has to Coraline, Tangled, Moana and The Good Dinosaur these days.
  4. Classical Music with a Narrative: I love Peter and the Wolf and Carnival of Animals.   Both have accompanying books.  These words function as guideposts and are especially great for very young kids.
  5. Music from the Circus – especially Cirque de Soleil
  6. Modern Wordless Music: I love The Rachel’s, Lullatone, and Escala.

So, the next time you are faced with some indoor time, make a playlist with your kids and explore the way that scores can enliven their playtime!

What music does your child love to move to?

Thanks so much for watching and I’ll see you soon.


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