Using Music to Set A Mood

You might imagine that I constantly have music playing in my house, subtly influencing my children and setting a beautiful tone for my life.

You would be mistaken.

I don’t know what it is, but background music is often a very very late afterthought for me. It’s the kind of thing where I will walk into someone else’s house where music is playing and I will think, “oh yeah! That’s a great idea! I should do that.”

And by the time I get home, my mind has moved on long past the fleeting desire to creative an atmosphere.

One other impediment to using music as a mood-setter is my lack of music playing devices. I use my phone, which is subpar for a few reasons, not least of which being its powerfully distracting ability. I will eventually get an Echo Dot or some such thing, but it’s pretty low on my to-do list.

For now, I work with what I have, and I did eventually create a playlist of peppy Jewish songs to get my kids in a moving mood in the morning. I titled it (very originally) GOOD MORNING!!!!!!

Here are some of the selections:

And I just added this one, since my kids have been singing it non-stop since we attended his concert here for Chanukah:

I have also really, really been digging the pre-made and shared playlists on my apple music account, and sometimes I just type “relaxing classical” or “upbeat classical” if I want to feel a certain mood.

I also poached some Chanukah songs from other people’s playlists to create a playlist that worked for our family, and that was very easy and very satisfying. I had it playing when we had a little party with friends, and it really did create a festive mood! But no one broke into a hora, sorry to disappoint.

My kids don’t always appreciate the classical music, and occasionally they will refer to it as “mommy’s music,” but I like to at least tell them who the composers are and a fun fact about them, so that it’s not a completely foreign concept. But no way am I going to force feed it to them, I’d rather have it be a pleasant memory from childhood as opposed to something they will resent. We’ve gone a similar route with music lessons, but that’s a topic for another post!

What are some songs that you turn to for a certain feeling or mood? What’s on your playlist?

Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash


2 thoughts on “Using Music to Set A Mood

  1. Morning music most requested in our home: Ride of the Valkyrie, The Four Seasons (each kid has a different favorite season), Rossini overtures (especially The Barber of Seville and The Thieving Magpie).

    Fun driving music: My husband has a whole Spotify list, but it’s similar to what you have above, plus some 8th Day and some Ari Goldwag and some Benny Friedman. Maybe a little Lipa. I can only stand about half of it.

    Most of my kids love one of the Darshan albums–Deeper and Higher. They all sing along and dance along. It’s a favorite when we are doing Pesach cleaning and other busy projects.

    One of my kids loves to listen to oldies with me, one of them hates to, and the others are in-between. A couple of them looooove to sing all the songs I know by heart but kinda hate (except when singing with them) due to them being overplayed: Don’t Stop Believin’, Africa, Hotel California, Landslide…

    1. Oh my gosh I love your morning music selections, epic! I would also highly recommend the Overture to the Marriage of Figaro by Mozart as a rousing addition to your list.

      Do you know that I have never listened to Darshan? I will have to check them out. And I also love the oldies! That’s what I grew up on. We don’t play so much secular music around our kids (which is a funny thing to be strict about considering how much other popular culture we do not filter, but whatever, old habits, blah blah blah), but I did play “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Stones the other morning. Heh heh heh. And we’ve played Take On Me for them. I should make a playlist of songs I’d like them to hear that are clean, that’s actually a project I’d like to do. Thanks for the inspiration!

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