I love the effect I create when I sing to a small child who may be frightened or upset - I will notice a bit of a surprise, followed by abit of a smile, which will usually lead to big smiles. I'm usually pretty sure singing will help, sometimes only in that I've surprised the child, and helped the child stop for a moment. I think singing can be a good means of relieving stress.
Recently Geraldine, at her blog Take a Happy Break, (you can find her on my blog list), wrote a very good post on the benefits of singing - which I found so interesting.You may like to look there and read further on an article she provides as a link, on the health benefits of singing.
In early childhood education singing, traditionally holds an important place. Music circles and singing to indicate transitions have been used for years. My sense is that we are getting away from lengthy music circles, which may be a good thing, as young children really are not meant for sitting still for long circle times - ( it's really difficult for most children). However, then it seems that our children will miss out on a chance to learn the old and new children's songs, so maybe as well as playing Cd's of music, we could sing for children while they are playing now and then.
I sing my children now and then through transitions such as "A- is putting her boots on, hi ho hi ho hi ho; J- is buttoning up her coat, hi ho hi ho hi ho; now G is putting on his hat..." My children enjoy this, although it may seem corny - and sometimes they also see the humorous side to my singing as well.This in itself can be a stress reliever. :) I don't always sing - I really think it could be tiresome all the time, sometimes it's just good to get ready in quiet and think our own thoughts.
However especially in times of stress I think singing can help. One of my most vivid childhood memories comes from my childhood dentist, who sang to me while he worked. I really appreciated this as I was afraid of going to the dentist, but always relaxed when he sang - and I never forget this.I think I was so fortunate to have such a sensitive, nice dentist. So remembering this I do it for my children, whenever I can.
Children also sing while they play I find, and so it is nice if they do have abit of a repetoire to sing from, although they also are good at making up their own songs!
I may write abit more this week on music and singing - just wanted to start with this little reflection.