A man standing next to a large double bass instrument in the middle of a busy city, with a hat on the ground for tips, looks around at those passing by.
Would you stop and drop in a quarter?
Most people would keep walking, especially on a busy day when they are headed to work, appointments, and meetings. But one little girl who decided to stop and give a coin to the musician got a spectacular surprise.
At first, it was just one more large string instrument that came out from a nearby building. A woman with a cello joined in, playing Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" with the double bass. Coincidence? Maybe.
Then an oboe player and violinist randomly joined the performance, harmonizing the song. This seemed a little too perfect to be spontaneous.
One by one, more musicians joined in the music until there was a full orchestra, trumpets, percussion, a choir and even a conductor. A large crowd gathered, everyone stopping on their way to their other appointments, awed by the perfect performance in such a random place. Singing along, dancing and practicing their own conducting skills, everyone in the audience from babies to grandparents enjoyed the triumphant classical music.
Nearly 10 million Youtube views later, it's clear that this flash mob orchestra affected more than just the audience that gathered.
Good music can tug on our heartstrings and even inspire us to change our lives. Sometimes it might feel like all of the new music around our families and children is negative. With inappropriate lyrics and videos, much of today's music can have a bad influence on our families, but that's no reason to keep your life on mute.
Along with the negative music that can hurt kids, there are also plenty of ways to incorporate uplifting music in your family members' lives. Here are three ideas for keeping music a positive influence in your home.
1. Find music you all enjoy
Teenagers typically love music. You might wonder if your teen's ears can even be separated from her headphones. Helping guide your kids' choices in music can help them hold onto values instead of just choosing what's popular. Finding appropriate family-friendly music for your iPod or mp3 player can make a family trip much more exciting, and will help set the example of acceptable music for your kids.
Foster their talent
Maybe you dream of watching your child on the other side of music. Instead of jamming out with headphones in her ears, you want your teen to pursue her talents as a pianist, violinist, singer, or trumpeter. Although learning an instrument isn't for everyone, it can help your child learn important skills. Some studies have even shown that students who learn a musical instrument had higher GPAs and the lowest levels of lifelong alcohol and drug usage. Without forcing your child to participate in music, encourage them to find an instrument they are interested in and help them learn to read music. This could eventually replace the blasting radio with their own chords and riffs.
3. Don't tolerate inappropriate songs
If cursing is against the rules in your home, it should not be allowed in the music, either. Always look at what messages the songs are actually sending and decide if those morals match up with your family.
Music can be a force for good in your family. On the flash mob video, one user commented, "This brought me to tears. It's brilliant, thank you so much." However you decide to use music in your home, make sure it blesses your family members and the community.