Recently I was presenting at the New Zealand Home Based Care National Conference in Auckland. Kimberley Crisp inspired me with her passionate presentation, in which she challenged us to think of our daily interactions with our children as “choreography of the soul, fuelled by love which grows the brain”.
She started with the question: “How am I with myself?”
To get to the heart of the art of loving, interactive musical play, we must first love ourselves and see ourselves as worthy play partners, worthy of imitation. How do we develop relationship? “Emotional satisfaction and enjoyment is the key to creative free play”. We can learn to let go our inhibitions, think from our heart, trust our intuition and enjoy each moment as play partners, knowing there is no right or wrong way to play. Thus, we are building strong bonds of love in a secure relationship, which is the essence of helping the infant to make a positive start in life.
Musical play allows us to engage the heart and soul of the child as we journey together from birth as equal play partners. “Children are biologically programmed to play”. The child leads, and we follow. This innate turn taking validates the child’s offerings. We are watching, waiting, hearing, seeing, and imitating, allowing the child to fly. When we empower the infant to be the leader, there is a strong sense of timing, rhythm, gesture, and movement. The level and depth of play is dependent on rich relationship, humour, imitation, rituals, routines, repetition, and loving care. Many researchers describe playful communicative interactions between mothers and infants as being musical and “dance like” (Malloch and Trevarthen 2008 p.1).
As followers of the child we need to:
- View the child as the miracle they are.
- Understand that we are physical, but we are incredibly divine.
- Help them to develop a strong sense of self and compassion for others.
- Give them many opportunities to explore the world through play.
- Help them to see a world of opportunities and possibilities.
- View the world with the sense of wonder of a child.
- Be consistent in all that we think, feel, say and do.
- Be in a constant state of learning.
- Value the precious moments of childhood.
- Take time to play, and delight in the lost in the moment joys of interactive play.
- Realise that childhood is short and we are the decisive key to relationship and inspiration.
- Take opportunities to swing together in joyful harmony and synchrony.
Crisp, K. and Brownlee, P. The Sacred Urge to Play www.goodeggbooks.co.nz
Malloch, S., and Trevarthen, C. (2008). Musicality: communicating the vitality and interest of life. In S. Malloch and C. Trevarthen (eds) Communicative Musicality: Exploring the Basis for Human companionship, pp1-11. (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
© Julie Wylie, 15 October 2018