July 2013 - Maybe All You Need Is A Music Box
In his book, Speak with Courage, author Martin McDermott cites Harvard professor, Howard Gardner, on his research on students’ studying abilities. “Professor Gardner, in brief, discovered the intellectual equivalent of cross-training: As swimming laps helps with running, playing music helps with math.” If you’re a parent with a child with difficulties at school, you may want to look further into this study. It could be helpful.
Professor Gardner’s ideas on intellectual cross-training echoes a phenomenon we see frequently in feng shui. Commonly, when someone is trying to address a specific issue in their life, looking at another part of their life can shed a lot of insight as to what is really going on.
For instance, if a client calls me because they are frustrated with work or don’t have enough money coming in, we’ll look at the aspects of their space that relates to their self-worth or how they honestly view themselves for clues. This can give us important information to address which may help their initial quandary.
Music is an element in one’s space that we can use for new solutions to issues. It is also a wonderful additive to any life. It can stir up creative juices and help us see things differently, One of my clients was adamant about giving away a baby grand piano. It was taking up an inordinate amount of space and just didn't seem to “go” anywhere. After having a conversation, she learned that the issue was not with the piano itself, but with her not playing it. She then decided to invest some money in it and turn it into a self-playing piano. She kept it.
I’m not saying you have to spend a lot of money to bring music in your life. You don’t need a music room. A music “corner” can do just fine. Here are some pointers as to how to bring a little music in your life.
- If you have an instrument already, take it out and play it whenever you can. It doesn't matter how well you play it, but it’s the fact that you are using it.
- Take note how often you play music during the day. If you don’t play it often, consider turning something on when you are cooking, cleaning, or just folding clothes. And, take note how that activity makes you feel when doing it to music.
- If you wake up to an alarm buzzer or radio station, check to see if you really enjoy what you wake up to. You may want to change the station to more a soothing one.
- Start singing in the shower, even if you sing out of tune. It can help your creative juices flow and perhaps lead to great ideas.
- Consider playing sound music. Listening to the sound of a thunderstorm or ocean waves breaking on shore can really add to a bath or help with filing papers away. The sound of humming birds while dusting can make the room feel even cleaner.
- Add imagery of music in your space. Perhaps get a musical note-shaped note pad, kitchen towels with instruments on them, or frame your favorite album cover. Or maybe a music box may work. Finding imagery that works for your own space is very personal. But take that look to see what might work for you.
For your homework this month: Observe the amount of music that is in your life. And, find ways to add more to it. Keep in mind nature sounds are a form of music. Music can help stir creative juices, find solutions to problems, add a smile to the day, or even just soothe your temper. All of this can lead to subtle shifts within your life, as long as you are mindful of them. And, don't forget if your child is having trouble at school, research what kind of cross-training can be helpful for him or her.
Until next month!