NOTE: All the music links take you to Spotify. You will need to get a free account to listen to the music.
When you are a parent or teacher of a child/children with Learning Differences, sometimes the child is upset, sometimes the adults are upset, and sometimes everyone is upset. I found that music helped weather the tough times. Music can help change someone's mood or help them prepare for the day. Here is a list of music that I found helped me and my family through some tough times.
I Have Confidence from the Sound of Music and sung by Julie Andrews can help one feel like they can conquer anything. I used to play this every day before I went to teach the first year I taught school. Just that little boost of confidence helped me get through a tough year.
Mozart for Mommies This is an album of Mozart music. Even though the old idea that it makes children smarter has been disproven, it did have a calming effect on my children as well as myself. My children still recognize this music and like to listen to classical music to relax.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow sung by Judy Garland is a great ballad to sing to your children as a lullaby. If you are not a singer, then playing it can also be effective, especially if you are holding your child. This new version by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole is also a very calming piece of music.
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot sung by IIIrd Tyme Out, when sung as a ballad, is also a great song to encourage children to sleep. My children fell asleep to this many a night.
Toot Suite with Claude Bolling on the piano and Maurice André on trumpet is an uplifting set of music that can encourage anyone to feel better. This would work in a classroom as well as a car or home.
Don't Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin was a life saver on a trip my kids and I took from San Francisco, California to Evergreen, Colorado. If anyone got grumpy in the car and started causing trouble, I played this song non-stop until we all felt better. It worked every time. Today, I would probably use Happy by Pharrell Williams or Everything is AWESOME! from the LEGO Movie.
Helmet by The Bobs is a great song to help with anxiety. This is a song about a person who feels most happy when he has some kind of a helmet on his head. It is a song about being different, being accepted, and being convinced that if everyone saw the world as you do, it would be a better place. What more could you ask for?
High School and Older
When my children got into high school, we rarely agreed on music. However, to this day, we are still able to discuss music and enjoy listening to it together. I would highly suggest finding a way to enjoy music with your children or your students.
Even though this song by the Backstreet Boys is written to a mom, the words are applicable to mothers, fathers, and teachers who work tirelessly on behalf of children with Learning Differences.
You showed me how to love
You showed me how to care
And you showed me that you would always be there
To all the "perfect fans" out there, keep up the good work!