The Art of Balancing Work and Play

My husband and I are still searching for a good weekend work/play balance.  Just this past Sunday afternoon as he assumed his classic repose on the couch, I approached him with the subtlety of a car alarm, calendar in hand...“Ok honey, when are we gonna do our spring cleaning this year?”  As we hashed through our house project to-do list, we both felt the crushing weight of the endless responsibilities that come with being home owners with children, and, well, grownups!  And that was before the ten inches of water began accumulating in our basement…

Coming on the heels of natural disasters in Haiti and Chile, our little basement flood can hardly be viewed as anything on an epic scale.  But while we share the perspective that this is nothing more than an (expensive) inconvenience, we have both spent time this week considering condominium living, or better yet, renting.  Seems like there just isn’t enough time to play when you are an adult with (and this is said with a classic dose of brattiness) “responsibilities”.  Yuck!  

All this makes me grateful that my work is replete with play.  As Director of Early Childhood Programs at South Shore Conservatory, I am all about learning through play for both children and adults.  In fact, I have recently selected Dr. Stuart Brown’s book PLAY - How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul as our school book group book (more information coming soon to Facebook).  Dr. Brown affirms the same principle of play we focus on in Music Together®: play must be voluntary, or freely chosen. Over the past fifteen years, I have tried to help parents understand first how we are all wired to be musical, and second how we learn the language of music like everything else - through freely chosen play.  

I’ll be honest, getting adults to play in class is no easy feat; we can be a pretty uptight bunch.  Most parents sign up for music class because they think it’s good for their children, but come to realize that it is best of all for that mom or dad who desperately needs to play a little!  When we get parents to take that chance and let go, it’s almost magical.  A real community starts to form where parents are less glued to the performance of their child and more connected to themselves and their own way of musical playing. 

So if you are a grownup with a need to play (and you know you are!) and a child between the ages of 0-4, I hope you’ll join one of our 20 spring Music Together classes which start the week of April 5.  We offer classes Monday - Saturday in four locations.  Do it for your child, yes, but do it for yourself too.

In case you’re wondering about our spring clean up date, it’s May 2... after we’re done playing, of course.