Music is one of those things that almost everyone gets enjoyment from. It’s been proven to have positive effects in increasing IQ, aiding heart disease and improving mood. So how can we use it in our homes to make them happier places? For me, it’s about having music playing regularly, although not all the time – our brains need quiet to think. Both live music, making it ourselves and listening to music made by others. We have a Spotify (music streaming service) subscription and have various playlists that we use to set the atmosphere in our home. I thought it might be interesting to look at a few of them and what’s on them:

-          Have a Great Day! Songs like You Make My Dreams Come True, Walking on Sunshine, Don’t Stop Me Now – classic popular songs from over the years. We play it in the mornings to start the day off on a bright note, and I love the fact the kids are getting to know songs from other decades that we grew up with. Nothing sophisticated I know, but good old fashioned pop songs that make you happy!

-          Dancing With Daniel: a playlist of songs since Daniel got up on his feet that we noticed he particularly loved dancing to. I am slightly embarrassed to admit some of the hits on here like All About That Bass, Moves Like Jagger and Get Lucky are some of the favourites. I love that he can ask for his own music to be played (and the fact it’s not nursery rhymes on tape!)

-          Operation Sleep: the playlist we used with Daniel when trying to get him over to sleep and that we still use some evenings in the ten minutes before bed. I used to be able to judge a bad night by which song we got to before Daniel fell asleep! It’s some lovely piano music.

-          Folk Off You Folking Folker: guess who named this playlist? And yes, it’s folk music! Upbeat stuff for car journeys or Saturday afternoons while cooking.

-          Piano: a collection of some beautiful piano pieces, composers like Einaudi, Beethoven, Bach, which I like to listen to if I’m working (as background noise)

Then there are days that I put a worship CD on while the boys are playing and we sing and dance to it or just use it as background music (but those words settling in deep to their hearts).

There is something special about real live music making in your home though. As I play the piano, the boys are fans of coming to the music room with me and Rory will sit and play to my left and Daniel to my right while I try and practice in the middle! Colin has a harmonica which doesn’t get played nearly enough. And then there was the term I tried to take up cello which had been a lifetime dream, then discovered I was pregnant with Daniel so may have that as a hobby when the children are learning how to play instruments themselves, I could sit at the back of their class cramping their style!

My boys' own pieces that I play with them

My boys' own pieces that I play with them

Great music can make a fairly normal day turn into a happier one and all helps create a special atmosphere in the home. Do you have any funny playlists on your phone or Spotify?