Chipper Tips: Music for Connection and Communication

Let’s Go Chipper encourages children to explore and play which helps promote physical activity and conscientiousness. Respect, good character and environmental stewardship are the underlying message in each story delivered through music, mishap, and humor.
Now, think of a world without music – where communication was dependent solely on words alone. If you don’t understand the words of the people around you, how do you get connect? In South Africa, migrant miners from all over Africa began stomping and slapping their rubber boots (given to them by the mine owners) and formed a non-verbal, rhythmic mode of communicating that survives as it’s own art form today, gumboot dancing.
Dr. Linda Kouvaras, Senior Lecturer, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, The University of Melbourne writes, “People who are suffering together – those who have been enslaved, for example, or abused workers – have traditionally created and sung “work songs” together as a means of giving voice to their common experience and to give vent to anger, grief and frustration at their mistreatment. Through protest songs and music festivals devoted to raising consciousness, urging peace or ending poverty, music is a meeting-ground and a channel for activists.”
Further, she states, “Researchers have found a surprising level of commonality in musical conceptualization among children of distinctly different ethnic backgrounds and languages. Music has tangible effects on our state of wellbeing; some medical conditions, in many patients, in fact only respond positively to Music Therapy. If we share an innate way of perceiving and reacting to music, then music is a primal means by which we can interconnect.”


So, what does that mean for us as parents? First, honor the music in our child’s life. React and respond to every small musical moment – whether it be regular practice or the impromptu song and dance routine in the kitchen. Second, expose them to music, ALL music, classical, rap, country, rock, you name it and revel in their discoveries of themselves and others thru it. Third, weave music into their everyday. There is a reason we all remember the songs our parents taught us on those long road trips or hymns we sang together in church. They connected us to each other. They connected us to moments in time. The connected us and allowed
us to communicate with the world.