Music can play such a pivotal role in our lives.
We all have songs or even whole albums that trigger memories and feelings – happy or sad.
As music marks these highs and lows, it makes up a soundtrack for our lives that we may or may not be entirely conscious of.
Whatever your jam, it is nice to share such an important element of your life with those close to you. Therefore it isn’t surprising that music can also play a significant role in our relationships.
Listening to music socially is a popular pastime. People often go concerts, festivals or live gigs at pubs and clubs in groups. Most couples share a significant song and friends often have a favourite playlist for partying.
Music can also be very meaningful within family units. We all remember the music our parents played and the effect it had on us. Listening to that music now will evoke certain emotions – it is part of our life soundtrack, after all!
For me the likes of Queen, Elton John and Pink Floyd all bring back memories of family gatherings at my childhood home. The adults would be playing pool, darts or cards and it gives me a sense of togetherness.
There is also the music that we used to play on holiday road trips – cassette recordings of all my parents’ favourite vinyls. While I don’t often listen to this music anymore, I still have fond recollections of those times which are triggered when I hear it.
There is a lot of research around about the emotional impact of music and even the role of music in relationships. Now there is a new body research looking at the role music plays in the parent-child relationship.
Findings from a recent study published in in the Journal of Communication highlighted the significance of music in positively influencing relationships between parents and children. The study surveyed young adults on their memories of experiences from 8 years onwards, regarding doing activities with their parents such as listening to music, attending concerns or playing instruments together.
Shared musical experiences at all age levels were associated with better perceptions of parent-child relationship quality in young adulthood. However, interestingly, the effect was most pronounced for shared musical experiences that took place during adolescence.
Now if the mere thought of going to a Post Malone concert with your teenager curls your toes, never fear. Simply listening to music in the car with them and singing along can have a beneficial impact.
According to the researchers, music inspires synchronised activities such as singing or dancing along to the music together which can actually improve your relationship and make you like each other more!
The shared emotional connection brought about by music can also strengthen the quality of your relationship with your child.
As someone who loves to crank the radio up and have a good sing along with the kids in the car, this is music to my ears!
We also have a ritual of watching our favourite music clips on YouTube as a family. My 11yo and I even share playlists and introduce each other to new songs. Considering this research, and that fact he is on the verge of adolescence, I will definitely be doing my best to reinforce this shared love of music so it continues to reflect positively on our relationship.